Florin Gardos expressed his delight at coming through his first action this season with Southampton’s Under-21s on Monday night.
The 27-year-old central defender, who moved to St Mary’s from Steaua Bucharest in summer 2014 and made just 11 appearances last term, has not played since picking up a serious knee injury in a pre-season clash with Feyenoord in July.
However, Gardos was handed 71 minutes as the Saints’ academy side defeated Norwich 3-2 in a five-goal thriller at Staplewood.
He came through with flying colours and will no doubt be targeting a first-team outing before the end of the season.
Afterwards Gardos tweeted: “The best 71 minutes of football in 2016. Thank you all for the wonderful support! #saintsfc.”
He added: “Thank you all for the wonderful messages sent as mentions or DMs. Sorry for not replying, it’s because there are a LOT. They all mean a lot.”
Saints had led the Canaries 2-0 thanks to a James Ward-Prowse penalty and a strike from Sam Gallagher, before the visitors hit back and levelled only for a late Josh Sims goal to seal the points for the Saints.