Luke Ayling has admitted to feeling pre-game nerves before his return to the Leeds United side two weeks ago.
The defender had been out injured after undergoing summer surgery and played his first minutes for the Whites since Leeds’ play-off semi-final defeat to Derby County last season.
The 28-year-old came on against West Brom, before playing the full 90 minutes in Leeds’ 2-1 defeat at Millwall last Saturday.
Ayling’s return is a boost for Marcelo Bielsa’s side as they look to achieve their goal of reaching the Premier League, and he’s admitted to having a few nerves before his return.
Speaking to the Yorkshire Post, Ayling said: “I got told to warm up pretty much the whole first half, the whole of half-time and then I got on. There were a few nerves.
“The boys had been doing really well, I don’t want to come on and mess it up for them or anything.
“The morning of [the match], kind of felt like the first game of the season for me – the first game of every season you’ve got a few nerves.
“Coming on in the West Brom game felt like that for me, a few nerves but once I got my first touch I was fine.”
Ayling’s return is a big boost for this Leeds side and gives them more options in the full-back areas, and keeps up the competition for places that is so important in Bielsa’s squad.
He got a great applause when entering the pitch against West Brom and that would have done him the world of good.
When the Whites took on Millwall, they played over 75 minutes with ten men, so Ayling did well to keep up with the pace of the game after being out for so long. It shows that he’s now fit enough to be a key part of the squad for the future months of the season.