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Matt: Great to be back

6 November 2016

Striker reflects on return to action in FA Cup tie

Matt Harrold was probably the happiest player on the pitch on Saturday - even though he only made a cameo appearance against Bristol Rovers in the Emirates FA Cup.

The striker's return after nearly three months out as a late substitute in the 1-1 draw was enthusiastically greeted by the Reds fans when he replaced James Collins in the 86th minute.

It was his first appearance since he came off the bench on August 20 in the 1-1 draw against Barnet. He then underwent Achilles surgery, which be believes was a reaction to the knee operation he had at the end of last season.

Matt said: "It was just great to be back out there pain-free for probably the first time since the 2-2 draw at York City on Good Friday.

"It's been a tough couple of months, especially the time I spent in a protective boot and could do very little.

"I feel 100% with the Achilles and it's now a case of getting minutes under my belt."

Reds face a hectic November. Saturday's game was the first of seven games this month, including the Cup replay at the Memorial Ground on November 15, Wednesday's trip to Southampton in the Checkatrade Trophy and the Sussex Senior Cup tie against Langney Wanderers, which will have to be re-dated because of the FA Cup replay. There are also four league fixtures, starting with Saturday's home date against Cambridge United.

Not that Matt will mind as the extra games will give him the opportunity to get more minutes under his belt. "I hope to have a bit longer at St Mary's on Wednesday and we'll go from there," he said. "It's a hectic month but we've got a few players coming back into contention which can only be good for the manager when it comes to picking the team."

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