West Ham defender George McCartney is relieved to be back in action
West Ham defender George McCartney is relieved to be back in action following his long-awaited return on Saturday.
Last Updated: 02/12/13 4:57pm
The left-back made his first Premier League start in more than a year as the Hammers beat Fulham 3-0 at the Boleyn Ground.
McCartney was initially sidelined as the result of a knee problem and his absence was extended by a series of strains.
But the 32-year-old was delighted to come through the match with Fulham unscathed, and now hopes he can cement his place in the team.
McCartney said: "It was a great feeling to see my name on the team sheet again. It's been a long time and I've had some tough days with injury, but thankfully I'm over it now and it was nice to get back out on the pitch.
"To win the game was the most important thing, but to last the 90 minutes was a boost as well. It was good to be back out there.
"To be honest, being out for such a long time, you do have thoughts about whether you're ever going to come back.
"As you get older, you wonder if your body is up to coping with the demands of Premier League football again.
"I worked hard to get my sharpness and match-fitness back and I've always had belief in my own ability.
"It was a long road back and I had one or two comebacks when little niggles set me back again, but I've now had two or three really good weeks of training, a couple of friendly matches and to play the full 90 minutes on Saturday was great."