Rory Delap admits his second spell at Stoke City has probably been the toughest spell of his entire footballing career.
And that from a man who broke his leg on his home debut for Stoke back in 2006.
Delap takes everything involving Stoke City to heart after spending a vast chunk of his playing and non-playing career in the Potteries.
And he admits the past two years, since returning to the club to coach under Gary Rowett, wasn’t quite what he’d had in mind.
Speaking from his housebound isolation in Derbyshire, the Stoke legend looks back on his second spell with the club and says: “It’s probably been the strangest and most difficult period of my football career.
“It wasn’t what I imagined when Gary asked to come to back to Stoke.
“I knew, after speaking to a few of the lads and the staff at the club, that it would take a bit of time to turn things around and there’s no doubt there was a hangover after relegation from the Premier League.
“It probably took longer to get over that than anyone thought. In your head you’re hoping it would only take months, but clearly it’s been longer.
“But now we are hoping to turn it around into a positive, especially if we can finish this season well, whenever that will be.”
And if they do, he says, Stoke City should certainly be looking at the other end of the table and dreaming of repeating the feat he and his team-mates once achieved back in 2008.
“If we do,” he continued, “then we can make sure we are in a good place to go and have a tilt to be in and around the top six next time.”