Tottenham's attacking midfielder Erik Lamela has revealed his excitement at his return from long-term injury, despite it coming in the club's defeat to Leicester at the King Power Stadium.
The Argentinian had not played for Spurs since an EFL Cup game with Liverpool back in October 2016, and marked his first appearance for the club this season with a 13-minute cameo off the bench in their 2-1 loss to the Foxes.
Notwithstanding the poor result, Lamela conceded he was ecstatic to finally be back from such a lengthy injury.
He told the club's official website: "There were some very hard times but in life, you need to keep going, always looking forward.
"I fought every day to be good, to train, to help my team-mates. I did my best always and that’s why, today, I’m here again.
"Today is another step. I am back on the pitch and it felt amazing to play again in front of the people but unfortunately we didn’t win."
While Lamela's return offered brief respite for Spurs' supporters, it was the silver lining of an otherwise disappointing night, with the North London side continuing their poor run of form in the Premier League, now without a win in three league games.
With only four points and three goals from their last five outings in the league, interspersed by two magnificent Champions League performances, manager Mauricio Pochettino was in no mood for excuses.
I'm very disappointed with the performance in the first half, it was so poor," he admitted.
"You need to compete, you need to fight first of all, then play football. You cannot play football if you don't compete and fight in the Premier League. That's why we're so disappointed."
Tottenham's next challenge comes in the shape of Watford, and they'll be looking to bounce back from their midweek defeat with all three points at Vicarage Road on Saturday.