Les Ferdinand admitted he was over the fear factor after blasting a goal on his old stamping ground at QPR in Danny Maddix's Testimonial on Saturday.
Big Les hit 89 goals in his days at Loftus Road and took only 22 minutes to smash in the opener in our latest friendly. That made it three pre-season goals for the ex-England hitman and another step on the ladder back to full fitness as the big kick-off approaches. He said afterwards: "The last couple of years haven't been good and it's important for me to get my fitness and sharpness back. I feel with each game I'm playing that I'm feeling better.
"At the back end of last season I had the second operation that cleared a cyst out of the Achilles and when I got back from that there was no pain and I felt free in my running. It was the first time I'd felt like that in almost a year.
"I used to say to our fitness coach that I wondered if there would be a time when I would run again without pain. Was there a chance of that? Luckily I'm through that."
Ferdinand's next target is to win a regular place in the side. He's up against L11m newcomer Sergei Rebrov, Steffen Iversen and Chris Armstrong and insisted: "The manager said at the back end of last season that he wanted a bigger squad and wanted to use a rotational system. Most of the big teams that have been successful have used that system. You have to accept that if you are at a big club and want to be successful."
As for the game, Ferdinand added: "It was a very good work out for us and we're very pleased to get a good game under our belts but most importantly, it was a good turn out for Danny. He's been a great servant to this club and deserved this day."