Brighton & Hove Albion defender Connor Goldson was delighted to make his return to the side, after making his Premier League debut against Watford yesterday.
Goldson replaced the suspended Shane Duffy in the starting line-up and felt that Saturday’s performance and result was the best-possible reward after a difficult year.
He said, “It was brilliant [to come back]. I’ve waited a long time for it, with what happened last season.
“It affected me, not being able to be a massive part of the promotion race but that’s worth it all – to make my Premier League debut. To win and keep a clean sheet. It’s a perfect day.
“I’ve been on the bench a lot recently. The gaffer said, ‘The boys are getting yellow cards,’ so he wanted me to play an under-23s game to make sure I’m ready for it. And obviously I knew as soon as Duffy got a yellow card, that I was going to play.
“Everyone knows that I was meant to go on loan at the start of the season – it didn’t end up happening. And I think things always work out for a reason in the end.
“Going out on loan and playing in the Championship wouldn’t have been anywhere near as much an achievement as that is. Days like this make you appreciate football. It’s been a tough ride but that was worth everything.”
The 25-year-old also reflected on the game as a whole, and thanked the fans for their tremendous support.
“At the start of games, you want to play yourself in. You have to build yourself into the game – whether that’s by talking or taking a few early touches. I won a few headers, played simple just to Bruno or Dunky and just got more confident and started playing my own game.
“It [The reception] was brilliant. At the end of the game I did get a little bit emotional inside – I might not have shown it, but it did mean a lot. I got a great reception in the changing room when I came back and we’ve got a great team spirit. We don’t just say that – we’ve got an unbelievable team spirit.
“[The win] was massive. We needed it, because after a few defeats you starting looking at yourselves and thinking: ‘Are we good enough? Is this level getting too much?’ But we’ve bounced back and proved we’re a good side, we deserved to win. I’m happy with the clean sheet and all the boys will go home happy.”