'I was close to breaking point' - Emotional Waters reveals extent of his struggles and how he nearly left Cobblers

Billy Waters has spoken out about the extent of his struggles as an outcast at the Cobblers this season and revealed just how close he came to leaving the club during the summer transfer window.

Sunday, 20th October 2019, 6:48 pm
Back in the frame? Billy Waters on the ball against Salford. Picture: Pete Norton

The 25-year-old's future as a Northampton player has been in serious doubt ever since manager Keith Curle made him available for transfer at the end of last season.

Waters, who signed for the Cobblers in 2017, has struggled for game-time throughout his two seasons at the club, so much so he's had to go elsewhere for regular minutes, sent out on loan to Cambridge United in 2018 and then Cheltenham a year later.

His lack of match action continued into this season after being unable to find a new club in the summer, managing only 150 minutes of game-time across Town's first 13 league matches prior to Saturday's visit of Salford.

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But, having netted a hat-trick in a reserve team friendly last Tuesday, he was handed a first league start of the campaign against Salford and helped Cobblers to a much-needed 2-0 victory.

Speaking to the media post-match, he then revealed the full extent of his difficult summer and subsequent time on the sidelines.

"It's no secret that I was trying to get out in the summer," he said. "But that's football and the gaffer and I had a chat and it was difficult to get out so I had to get my head around that and mentally knuckle down.

"I think I've done that and I've done it well because it hasn't been easy to stay mentally fit but I've got through it and on a personal note I'm proud of that.

"It has been tough and I was close to breaking point about a month ago but I got through it and my family helped me get through it and they said use it as a positive.

"Outside of football, going home, seeing my girlfriend and my family, they've all been great support because it hasn't been easy."

Keeping himself fit and match sharp has been another challenge for Waters, who prior to Saturday had only started matches in the EFL Trophy and League Cup.

He added: "I've just focused on myself and just thought what can I do for myself and how I can keep myself as fit as possible so, like on Saturday, I can play and I can last 85 minutes when called upon.

"League games are more intense than the Trophy games so I was pleased I could get through fitness wise. I've just knuckled down and tried not to get too low with the lows.

"I focused on myself and didn't get too caught up in it and I've done that now. I've kept myself sharp and the lads have been great in the changing room as well."