ROBERT SNODGRASS'S one and only appearance so far in the English Premier League just so happened to be the last time he kicked a ball for 18 long months.

On his debut for Hill City, following a summer £7million move from Norwich City, a knee that had been bothering him for the best part of two years robbed him of the opportunity to show that he had what it took to handle himself at that level.

The Scotland international, in an attempt to make a run, twisted said knee and right there and then his season was over and a career which had been going so well was cruelly interrupted. A dislocated knee caps is never a quick fix. He was out and Hull went onto be relegated.

There will not be a player on the Wembley pitch this afternoon so desperate to win the Championship play-off match, his side take on Sheffield Wednesday, and therefore make up for a lot of lost time.

"Getting injured and missing the last campaign and half of this one, it's been very tough mentally to digest what happened," said Snodgrass.

"I didn't want to have to live with regrets if I had not come back from my injury. The only thing I had in my head was I'd be gutted if I didn't come back stronger. That stood me well throughout it. I feel great now and the last piece of the puzzle is to win promotion.

"I find myself lucky enough to be going to Wembley, which is any young kid's dream. My family and friends are coming down and the last part of it now is to go and win.

"At the start of the season, everyone says you want to go up automatic because the play-offs are intense. But if you go up through the play-offs, it's the best feeling because it's Wembley. But to lose there, I would not like to be on the end of that. That's the burning desire that will drive us forward."

Snodgrass admitted that there were moments so low during his rehabilitation that he did wonder whether he would ever make it back.

Dark thoughts entered the mind of the former Livingston academy player who must have wondered what he had done to deserve such bad luck.

"There were stages in the first four or five months when you don't think it's going to happen," admitted Snodgrass.

"But that's just because it was so fresh and I was looking too far ahead. The surgeon said I would be out for between four to six months. Then when I woke up from the operation, he said it was 12 to 18, so in one night I was out for treble the time.

"Because as soon as he went inside, he had to act on something else. It was frustrating, but there was nothing you could do."

Another Scotland man, Barry Bannan, will be directly up against Snodgrass at Wembley in a game worth £200million to the winner.

Sheffield Wednesday were nobody's idea of potential Premier League side and yet here they are just 90 minutes away from sport's most lucrative league.

"They probably go in as favourites, but that doesn't kill us," said Brannan. "We're confident in ourselves and what we've done all season.

"It would be unbelievable - first and foremost for yourself and your family, but obviously for those fans, who come week in, week out, it would be great to repay them and get into the Premier League.

"It's definitely difficult [preparing], don't get me wrong. You've got people asking for tickets that you haven't heard from for years."

Bannan has always been a talent, he was signed by Aston Villa at 15, but his career hit the buffers at Crystal Palace, he even spent a period when he wasn't registered to play, and then he got a move to south Yorkshire in August.

He has started 36 games in the league, by far his best run of matches, and at 26 the winger seems to have found the stability he had cleared needed.

"You're obviously going to get more confident the more games you're playing, whereas before in my career I was in and out, in and out, and didn't really have a chance to get that run of games," he said.

"This year I've had a real show of faith put in me from the manager, the players around me, and the fans have been brilliant with me.

"If you've come into the team from the Premier League, you've got to show you've played in the Premier League, and with that responsibility on your shoulders it has brought the best out of me."

Steve Bruce, the Hull manager, is hoping, probably in vain, that everyone involved will allow the occasion to sink in.

"The one thing with these big occasions is that you’ve got to enjoy them because they don’t come around very often." said Bruce. It’s the second time the club has been in this fixture in eight years, and in reality the second time in 112 years in terms of the club’s history.

"The first thing you’ve got to do is enjoy the occasion and if you’ve got anything about you, when you do sit down and put your slippers on after your career is done and dusted, you look back at the big occasions you’ve been involved in."