Jack Wilshere was happy to play his first Arsenal game in 17 months
Arsenal's Jack Wilshere was glad to get 70 minutes under his belt to mark the end of a 'long journey' back from injury.
Last Updated: 28/10/12 7:22am
The 20-year-old featured for the Gunners for the first time since May 2011 as they beat QPR 1-0 at Emirates Stadium on Saturday, having spent 17 months on the sidelines with ankle and knee problems.
Despite his long lay-off, Wilshere was a star performer for Arsene Wenger's side, earning the man-of-the-match award with a composed display in midfield.
The England international was glad to be back in front of a home crowd, having been greeted with a warm reception on his return.
He told Sky Sports: "It was great to get a first 70 minutes in front of an Emirates crowd. It's been a long journey but I'm back now.
"The Arsenal fans have always been great to me. I hope they continue to be great to me in the future."
Wilshere added of his display: "That's my game, I can't lose that. It's what's got me here today.
"I need to keep doing that and working hard in training to get back to the level I know I can be."
He said: "We didn't underestimate QPR and knew they were going to be strong, especially from midfield and the wingers."
Wenger took Wilshere off for Theo Walcott after 70 minutes and the midfielder admits it was the right decision, having experienced cramping as the match wore on.
"The boss spoke to me this morning and said to see how I feel after 60 minutes," he said. "I was cramping up after 60 so it was better for Theo to come on fresh.
"To be fair he made a difference, pushing down the side to let Mikel (Arteta) go further forward and get the win."
The youngster says fellow midfielders Arteta, who netted the winner in the 84th minute, and Santi Cazorla guided him through his first game back.
He said: "The older players and more experienced players here like Mikel and Santi helped me through it and I thank them."