Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Steven Pienaar is delighted to get his career at White Hart Lane back on track after making his first appearance of the season against Rubin Kazan in the Europa League.
Despite falling to defeat in Russia, Spurs were able to hand both Pienaar and defender William Gallas their first starts since last season.
The South African was hampered by a groin injury over the summer, and failure to recover sufficiently has led to him missing the entire campaign thus far.
"It's good to be back and to be playing again," Pienaar said. "I'm happy about that but at the same time, it's never good to lose.
"We knew it was going to be difficult and that's how it turned out. I managed to get minutes under my belt, played the full game and that's what I wanted.
"I got through it well and that was important for me. It was my first 90 minutes for a while, I've been out for a good few months. Now I'm excited to get back out and play.
"I'll just take it step by step, see how I feel Friday and Saturday and take it from there."
Assiatant manager Kevin Bond was keen to take positives from the defeat, and says he was impressed with how those who retuned from injury dealt with the occasion.
"We were under no illusions that this had the makings of a really difficult night for us and it turned out that way," he said.
"To be fair, I thought we did well. A couple of senior players made their first starts and got their first minutes on the pitch this season.
"William came off late in the game but he was getting tired and he's just come back, so we wanted to protect him.
"Steven played 90 minutes and did well. I thought there were a lot of good performances from the younger lads. Tom and Jake in the middle of the park were excellent."
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