Despite playing nearly 200 games, Jordan Moore-Taylor said he had never been more nervous for a football match than he was ahead of taking on Fulham U21s on Tuesday night,
The 25-year-old made his return after nine months out following knee surgery in the 1-0 win at Stadium MK, coming through the opening 45 minutes unscathed before being wrapped in cotton wool and withdrawn at the break.
After being on the bench on Saturday against Sunderland, Moore-Taylor was handed his first start since January in the Leasing.com Trophy on Tuesday night, but the defender admitted he had concerns in the build-up.
"To tell you the truth, that's the most nervous I've been going into a game in my career," he said. "After the operation, you worry about it. Credit has to go to the medical team to push me as hard as they did to make sure I did alright. Fortunately I've come through it well.
"It all went away during the warm-up though, with it being a night game I had a lot of time to think about it. Once I got out there, it all comes back to you. It's normal and feels like you've never been away."
The injury Moore-Taylor suffered to his medial knee ligaments was not a new one for the defender. Having suffered it before, he expected to be sidelined for around six weeks but when the recovery process took longer than expected, he said he knew an operation was needed.
He continued: "When I did it at Grimsby, I'd done it before. Loads of players do it, and it keeps you out for six weeks max, but we got towards eight or 10, then I wondered what was going on. We decided to have the op and now I'm back feeling strong.
"Normally, I'm in the physio's ear, but with this one, I've had to wait, graft hard and I was pushed really hard. I had to be patient and understanding. Don't get me wrong – I do like a moan! But I moan to get myself through it rather than to get out of anything."