Brighton & Hove Albion defender Liam Rosenior was delighted to make his return from injury after completing 45 minutes in their Checkatrade Trophy defeat to Coventry City.
The 32-year-old suffered an ankle injury against Reading in August and was pleased to come through the first half at the Ricoh Arena with no ill effects.
He said, “It was great to be back out there. It’s been a long time and the injury was the most serious one of my career by far.
“The biggest thing was being back out there on the pitch, then you get a true guess at how you truly feel, and for me, I felt great.
“I’ve obviously been out for a long time but I felt fit, there was no pain, which was the biggest obstacle for me. Now I can look forward to being part of the squad again, and hopefully helping us achieve what we want to.”
Albion fielded a young side against the Sky Blues, which included Rosenior and Rohan Ince as two over-aged players, and the defender applauded the work being done to prepare players for first-team football.
“I think this competition is fantastic, in terms of the experience that our young players get, because the gap between first-team and under-23 football is so big.
“You see, not just today, but over the season, we’ve got young players coming through who can handle themselves and hold their own against first-team players.
“Coventry are a big club and maybe it was a step too far for us today [Tuesday], but overall, the experience has been fantastic for the young players and they’ll be better players for it.
“Rusky [Simon Rusk] and John Morling have done some great work with the academy and we’ve got some great talent coming through.
“Jayson Molumby, Ben White; they’re going to be top players. It goes to show the strength of this club, not only are we doing well at first-team level, but the younger teams are holding their own against quality teams.”
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Rosenior admitted his frustration at missing a chunk of the season through injury, but is now focused on returning to the first team to help with this season’s promotion push.
“I’ve been here for two years now and both injuries have been tackles, and that’s probably the most frustrating thing about it for me.
“But I always knew that I’d come back and we’re in such a good position at the moment, so if I’m called upon, I know I won’t let the lads down.
“Hopefully I can build up some more fitness with some under-23 games, but the way I am, I’d put myself forward if there was a game tomorrow.”