Florin Gardos was pleased to come through his first full 90 minutes, as the defender featured in Southampton Under-23s’ defeat at Derby County.
Having played for 45 minutes and then an hour in his first two games back from injury, the Romanian international stepped up his return further at the iPro Stadium.
Despite the defeat, Gardos was personally pleased to come through unscathed in the Premier League 2 clash.
“It was good for me. I’m happy to have made it through 90 minutes after a long time out,” Gardos said.
“I started slowly with 45, then 60 and now the full game. It was a bit of a higher pace, so it was another good test for me.
“I’m just at the beginning, so I have to keep building on this and move forward.
“I was a bit tired, because I haven’t played 90 minutes for such a long time, and it wasn’t easy.
“I’ve been through a lot in the last 16 months. I’m happy to have finished the game and I’m feeling good.”
Despite the progress, Gardos knows it’s only the start of his return from an injury that ruled him out for the entire 2015/16 campaign.
“Of course for me it’s just the beginning. I still have a lot of work to do. Hopefully I’m going to be okay and I will get rid of these problems,” he added.
“I hope to be able to get some first-team game time soon, but I know I have to keep working hard to get back to my level.”