As games go, Frank Lampard's first competitive outing in 2016 for New York City FC over the weekend couldn't have gone much worse.
Having missed the entirety of the 2016 MLS season to date through injury, Lampard's announcement in the squad for NYCFC was a welcome boost ahead of their 'Hudson river derby' against New York Red Bulls on Saturday.
By the time the former England international came off the bench in the 75th minute, however, his team was already 5-0 down and a large section of the crowd took their frustration out on Lampard by loudly booing his arrival after so long out.
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Speaking in the aftermath of what ended up being a 7-0 loss - equalling the worst ever defeat in Major League Soccer history - the 37-year-old seemed to claim the fans who booed him were ignorant of the injury issues he has had to deal with:
"I don't think the fans are aware of the injury I had," said the ex-Chelsea midfielder, via Sky Sports. "If I'm getting booed for being injured, then there's not much I can do about that.
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"The only plus for me is that I feel physically very good. It's been a difficult injury. To feel good, to feel 100 percent and to come on and play a part was good for me personally, but, obviously, it was a very bad day for us."
Since signing a pre-contract deal with NYCFC back in January 2015, Lampard has only managed 11 appearances for the New York franchise and frustration with his absence from the line-up has increased in recent months, with some fans suggesting he simply isn't bothered about getting onto the field.
The player himself, though, made it clear that he has been working hard to get back to full fitness:
"I had a nasty injury which was an 8-10 week injury," said Lampard. "In the beginning, doctors thought it was a small injury and it didn't turn out to be that.
"I've been training morning and afternoon to get fit. People don't see that. So if they're going to boo for being injured, as I say there's not much I can do [other] than get fit, play and show what I can do on the pitch."
Had NYCFC not been five goals down to their most bitter rivals, it is unlikely Lampard's introduction to the game would have been met with such a negative response by fans at Yankee Stadium.
Nevertheless, the reaction does show how much work he has to do to win over an increasingly skeptical fan base despite his past achievements.
He will be looking to do that as soon as possible, with NYCFC next in action on May 29 against Orlando City.
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