Albion's keeper made a welcome return to the side on Saturday.
Brighton & Hove Albion goalkeeper David Stockdale was delighted to make his first appearance of pre-season against Stevenage after recovering from a foot injury.
The shot-stopper paid tribute to the club’s physios and medical staff for allowing him to return ahead of schedule, and reflected on a good week’s work at the training ground.
He said, “I was bit rusty yesterday and a bit tentative. I have now only played once, after only training twice with the team on Thursday and Friday.
“I haven’t done that much and I am ahead of schedule; we pencilled in next Tuesday for me to return but I felt good going into this week.
“On Thursday I saw the physios, had some good rehab and it was only meant to be half a game against Stevenage, but it felt normal. A total of 60 minutes is good.
“I had my first operation just days after last season. I went away and there were some complications. I came back from my holiday and a lot of my summer has been spent in a hospital bed, but I have been well looked after over at Eastbourne Hospital.
“I’ve been a bit down after the season and with things going wrong, but that happens in football.
“I’ve worked hard to get on the pitch and it was great to be back.”
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Stockdale is full of optimism going into the new campaign and says plenty can be taken from the Stevenage game, despite the 1-0 defeat.
“From what I saw at Crawley, we played well and did our job. At Stevenage, we were one click away from getting it right. We had so many chances and they had one chance and took it well.
“They are looking for the same things that we are in terms of fitness and performances, but we’ve got two games to look forward to now.
“But our main focus is the first game of season against Derby. I know it’s disappointing for the fans to see us lose two games, but we had mixed teams out there and it’s not as easy as you think.
“For me it was about getting fitness. If we get the lads’ legs right and win at Derby, then I don’t think people will be saying that we lost to Stevenage.”
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