Yannick Bolasie has revealed why his emotions were 'mixed' after his first appearance at Goodison Park in over 12 months.
The forward took to the turf in L4 for the first time, since he injured his cruciate knee ligaments in the 1-1 draw with Manchester United back in December 2016, ironically against the same side in the 2-0 New Year's Day loss to Jose Mourinho's men.
Speaking to the club's official site after the contest, Bolasie admitted that he was relieved to finally play in front of the Blues' home faithful once more, but explained why his return had been bittersweet due to the manner of the result.
He said: “It was very disappointing. At home, especially, you want to show the fans what you’ve really got but today wasn’t the best.
“I thought the first half was okay but then the second half we dropped off a little bit and probably showed them a little bit too much respect in a way. It’s a lesson we have to learn from. It’s not the best way to start the new year but we’ve got games coming thick and fast so we have to concentrate on the next thing coming.”
Keep grinding and slowly get back to 100%! You are a Game Changer for the Blues! Stay Fit n Healthy 🙏🏿⭐️👏🏿— Kevin Campbell (@1kevincampbell) January 2, 2018
Bolasie had played 62 minutes of the 0-0 draw with West Brom on Boxing Day in his first appearance for over a year due to the lengthy lay off, and also made a brief cameo from the bench in the loss to Bournemouth four days later.
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Another hour's run out against United saw the DR Congo international build upon his match fitness levels and show off a couple of neat tricks, and Bolasie added that he was ready to continue honing his sharpness to get back to his best as soon as possible.
He said: “It’s been a while since I’ve been able to find space like that. There were some counter-attacks we had and when I get my match fitness I will probably be able to do that at a higher intensity and more often for the team. I think that would have been beneficial.
“But I’ve just come back from an injury and being out for a year, so I’m happy to be back out on the pitch.”