Jonathan Woodgate was delighted to have proved his doubters wrong after finally making his comeback from a 15-month injury lay-off in Tottenham's win over AC Milan.
Woodgate came off the bench to make a 35-minute appearance in Spurs' win at the San Siro after Vedran Corluka had to come off after being pole-axed by Matthieu Flamini's horrific two-footed lunge.
The 31-year-old admits his road to recover has been long and hard but he is now looking forward to getting back to his best, saying: "It was a great feeling to get back. There is nothing worse than when you can't play football."
He added: "Watching games is painful when you're injured but you try to spur the lads on and give them all the confidence they need.
"A lot of people doubted whether I'd be able to get back but you have to show determination to not let bad times get you down and you have to just keep going."
Spurs boss Harry Redknapp was delighted with Woodgate's performance in Milan, especially given that the centre-half has only played one full reserve match since his return to training in January.
"I took a chance with putting Jonathan Woodgate on - he hasn't kicked a ball, he has had just one full game against a not-very-good QPR team," Redknapp said.
"I just felt his experience would help us. It was a case of having someone in the right place at the right time and I thought he was good at that."
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