Former Posh player Sergio Torres has revealed he considered quitting football and returning to Argentina during his darkest days at Peterborough United.
The Crawley midfielder returns to LOndon Road for the first time tomorrow since a difficult two years came to an end when he joined Reds in July 2010.
Torres is one of the happiest people you will ever meet, but admits he had to seek help from a sports psychologist for depression as he struggled to make an impression at Posh following his £150,000 move from Wycombe.
The memories of those torrid times will come flooding back tomorrow when he comes face to face with Posh boss Darren Ferguson who did little for his confidence by either not picking him or playing him out of position.
Torres ended up making only 17 league starts for Posh before being snapped up by former Reds boss Steve Evans but says the experience has helped him realise how lucky he is.
Torres said: “When I signed for Peterborough I was really looking forward to the challenge of playing at a higher level but for a number of reasons things did not work out the way I wanted.
“I had an ankle operation when I arrived so I missed the whole of pre-season and then suffered a knee injury which kept me out for another two months. When I got fit again the team were top of the league and it was really hard to break into the team.
“I found that very difficult after coming from Wycombe where I had played pretty much every game. It got to a stage when I didn’t want to go into training and even thought about going back home until my family and friends reminded me what I had sacrificed to come over here in the first place.
“In my head the manager (Ferguson) had paid £150,000 for me and I couldn’t understand why had he paid that much money for me and wasn’t playing me. I put too much pressure on myself and ended up getting a bit depressed.
“I went to see a sports psychologist which really helped. People think that being a professional footballer is easy and I accept it is a great life but it is also very hard when you’re not playing.
“It was the toughest time I have had in football but I learned a lot about myself during that period and it made me stronger. My first year at Peterborough was really hard but I’ve also got some great memories of the club and can’t wait to go back.”
Torres was a near ever-present under Evans as Crawley won the Conference title followed by promotion to League One but has found himself in a similar position to his early days at Peterborough since Richie Barker took over a manager last August.
He started just seven league games last season and was used as a substitute a further 16 times and has continued to cut a frustrated figure on the bench in the opening month of the current campaign.
The 32-year-old came on for the last couple of minutes against Coventry and Rotherham but is determined to stay and fight for his place as the clock ticks down to the end of the transfer window on Monday.
Torres added: “I won’t lie, it has been hard. I played the last five or six games of last season and the gaffer said he was impressed with me and that he didn’t need to sign someone else in my position during the summer.
“I thought I did well in pre-season and even scored against a Premierr League club (Crystal Palace) so I thought I would get the chance to play more this season. But the boys have been doing well so all I can do is work hard and try to show the manager what I can do every day in training.
“We’ve got a small squad so you never know what can happen. I love this club so I am going to stay and fight for a place in the side. The manager knows that because I had the chance to go out on loan last season and turned it down.
“I don’t think I’ll start tomorrow but it would be lovely if I could come on and help us get a result. It would be a dream come true if I could score the winner although I don’t think I would celebrate as I have so many friends still at Peterborough.”