Danny Rose was pleased with his own performance – if not the result – on his return to the first team on Saturday.
The youngster admits it has been a frustrating past year as he has looked to build on that unforgettable Premier League debut against Arsenal last April – hitting the Goal of the Season in that famous 2-1 win.
He was loaned out to Championship side Bristol City at the start of this season but injury restricted him to just 17 appearances at Ashton Gate before his return to the Lane at the turn of the year.
And since then, the England Under-21 international has had to bide his time on the fringes of the first team squad before coming in at left-back against Blackpool.
Danny impressed, getting forward and linking up well with Gareth Bale, particularly in the first half, but could not help us claim the three points we so dearly needed in the race for a top four finish.
He said: “I started off brightly, the lads gave me a lot of the ball, so from a personal point of view I thought I did well.
“But from a team perspective it was a bit of a disappointment. Everton did us a favour that day and we could have won and gone to City four points behind them.”
Danny continued: “It has been frustrating, I don’t mind saying that, but I’m glad the gaffer put me in on Saturday. He pulled me on the Monday and told me I’d be starting.
“He’d wanted to play me the week before at Chelsea but I’ve had to be patient since I came back from my loan at Bristol City and it’s paid off.
“Left-back is not my natural position, but when you look across the midfield it’s going to be hard for any young player to break in with the likes of Luka and Sandro in there, Tom coming back from injury and JJ being on the bench.
“But the gaffer’s told me I’ve got a chance of playing a few games at left-back, so I’m happy to do that.”
Danny will hope to be involved when we travel to Eastlands tonight in the hope of repeating our 1-0 victory there a year ago and keeping our dream, however distant, alive.
He added: “We beat City on their ground last year and we can do it again, but even if we do win there we’ve still got to beat Liverpool away, which won’t be easy, and if Birmingham need to win to secure their Premier League status on the final day, that won’t be easy either. We’ve just got to take it game by game and see what happens.”