Campbell glad to be back
Returning Sunderland striker happy after featuring for reserves
Last Updated: March 9, 2011 10:53am
Campbell: Eyeing first-team return
Sunderland striker Fraizer Campbell has taken a significant step on his return from long-term injury but is not going to rush back to first-team action.
The 23-year-old has been out since rupturing his cruciate knee ligament against Manchester City back in August.
But he featured in his first game back in Sunderland's reserve-team match against West Ham on Tuesday.
And, having had his first taste of action, Campbell can not wait for more, but knows he must be sensible and build up his fitness.
The hot-shot told The Journal: "It's been a really long time and I'm just happy to have got on the pitch and got some minutes under my belt.
"I felt good. I got a few touches of the ball early on and it's great to be out there in a match situation.
"Things like coming in for a pre-match meal were strange - I haven't done that for six months!
"I'm not used to preparing for games. I want to play as much football as I can while being sensible and building my fitness up.
"There's no rush (to come back). It's not about getting back for a particular game, I'll take my time and get back into the first team when I'm fit and ready to produce my best stuff."
Campbell was due to play the second half against the Hammers but instead came on with just over 25 minutes left to play after going through a rigorous warm-up routine with fitness coach Mike Clegg.
The rusty striker then spurned a chance when waiting too long to get a shot away after latching on to a Jack Colback through ball.
Campbell added: "I had a good chance but I waited too long; I should have taken the chance earlier but these things happen. Now I want to make sure I'm ready for the first team, so games like this are useful to get sharpness back."