CHRIS Hussey insists he holds no grudges as Burton Albion prepare to visit the club where he started his professional career tomorrow.
The wide-man played for AFC Wimbledon in two spells, starting his football journey there in 2007 and then returning last season.
He was released this summer and subsequently joined the Brewers, where he has been a revelation in the eight games he has played so far, scoring three goals and setting up more.
Last time Mailsport spoke to the 24-year-old, he enthused about how much he was enjoying his football under boss Gary Rowett after a frustrating spell with Coventry City between 2009 and January 2013.
But he still holds the Dons in high regard, having been with them when they were plying their trade in the Ithsmian League.
“I was there from the age of 18, and then I went back last season,” he said.
“It’s a club I’m always looking out for, and I am still fond of, and there’ll be no grudges this weekend.”
Hussey did not sign a new deal at Kingsmeadow when his contract expired last summer, and revealed that his desire to play at a club challenging for promotion was one of the reasons behind his move north.
“It was partly about me coming up here to be closer to my partner,” he said.
“It was a tough decision to make as my heart was telling me to stay, but my head said move.
“I went there from Coventry City to help them out, but it wasn’t meant to be.
“Wimbledon struggled last season, and it was better for me to come to a club like Burton, who are on the up.”
Hussey missed last Saturday’s defeat to Portsmouth with a hamstring injury, but will hope to return and try and help his new team get back to winning ways against his old employers.
“Hopefully we can get a result,” he said.
“It’s the first time I’ve been back as an opposition player so it’ll be a bit different.
“When I went back there from Coventry, they were a Football League club, but it was still a lot of the same people there.
“I’ve got lots of friends there and it’s a great club.
“My local club is QPR, but I was born in Shepherd’s Bush, only about half an hour from where Wimbledon play.
“My girlfriend is coming to the game, and afterwards we’ll hopefully see some friends and family.”
Primarily used as a left-back at Coventry, Hussey has been pushed further forward at Burton, and has successfully filled the void left by Jacques Maghoma after the tricky midfielder joined Sheffield Wednesday in the summer.
Hussey is a different sort of player to Maghoma – more of an orthodox winger, strong, quick and with a mean cross on him – and has brought consistent performances to the left flank.
“The gaffer has given me a new lease of life and I’m really enjoying my football,” he said.
“My closest friends in the squad are Alex MacDonald and Adam Reed – we get on really well and they have been great for the club so far.
“I’ve bought a house, I feel settled and it’s all coming together – finally.”
The Brewers are still unbeaten away from home in the league, but have lost to Oxford United and Portsmouth in their last two games at the Pirelli Stadium.
Last season, the club enjoyed the best home record in the Football League, but struggled on their travels.
“We’ve got the mentality to play away from home, and we just need to find that at home,” said Hussey.
“I read the gaffer’s comments in the paper yesterday about how we need to come out all guns blazing and that’s what we need at home.
“We’ve done that in patches but we need to do it from the start.
“We need to play with a bit more freedom.”
Rowett lost Maghoma and Calvin Zola in the summer – two of last season’s star performers – but has strengthened with the likes of Hussey, McGurk, Rene Howe and Jordan Pickford, as well as securing permanent deals for MacDonald and Ian Sharps.
“The manager is always looking to improve the team and that’s what we need,” said Hussey.
“There’s competition all over the team now and we’ve got a good squad.”
Rowett could ring changes after admitting that he may have got it wrong against Pompey.
Hussey said: “The manager will decide who plays and who doesn’t, but whoever is selected will give everything.
“We’ve been unlucky with decisions in the last couple of games, but it has to even itself out over the season.”