Brighton & Hove Albion winger Jose Izquierdo was delighted to make his long-awaited return to action on Tuesday night after recovering from a knee injury.
The Colombian suffered the setback following the 3-1 win over Crystal Palace in December, and admits the injury is something he’ll have to manage going forward after playing ten minutes against Leicester City.
He said, "It feels great being back on the pitch with the boys. It was only ten minutes and it also wasn't the result that we wanted, but it's good for my mentality.
"I have gone a long time without playing and it doesn’t make you feel good. It has given me high energy and motivation to keep working and get back fit and 100 per cent.
"My reality is this; I can't change it. I don't have a pill that can change my reality, so I have to accept I have the injury, do my best to manage it and be mentally strong.
"There are a lot of things that have changed in my life, that in the end, I have to adapt to."
Izquierdo explained that his latest injury setback has not altered his approach to life, and feels this positive approach has aided his recovery.
"In the end you cannot lose the happiness. We are very lucky to have this job. We do something that we love. We wake up and play football.
"Not many people in the world have that privilege. Things like this just happen in this sport.
"At the beginning it's hard and you get sad, but it's easier to carry on with a good mood and a good smile.
“If I am in a bad mood, it will not change my reality. It's easier being how I am - and just smile."
The winger laughed off the suggestion that he alone could pull Albion further clear of the bottom three, and highlighted the overall team effort required to pull the team out of trouble.
"I am grateful that the fans have that confidence in me, but I am not the saviour. We have very good players. In the end it's about the team, we have different qualities that all together make a team.
“I will do my best to help the team reach the goal of staying in the Premier League.
"We know the quality of players that we have. We know in the end it depends on us, so pressure and worry in the end doesn't help. We just need to play our game."
- Read a full match preview ahead of the game with the Terriers by clicking here.
- The manager knows his side will have the full backing of the home fans this afternoon at the Amex – click here to read more.
- Davy Propper was also on press duty ahead of today’s game – click here to read from the Dutch midfielder.
- Fans are also advised to make themselves aware of some important travel information ahead of the weekend - click here to find out more.