Jenas thrilled to make debut
Villa midfielder reflects on difficult period on sidelines
Last Updated: November 7, 2011 11:00am
Jermaine Jenas: Back in action following an injury lay-off but says there is more to come
Jermaine Jenas aims to build on his first appearance for Aston Villa after returning to fitness following a difficult period on the sidelines.
The midfielder joined Villa on loan from Tottenham over the summer but has had to wait for his debut after a lengthy lay-off with an Achilles injury.
He admits it has been a frustrating time but was delighted to finally get on the pitch against Norwich on Saturday, as Alex McLeish introduced him in the second half.
Jenas felt that he played a key role in Villa's 3-2 victory, although he accepts that it will be a little while before he gets into peak condition
"It felt great. It was nice to come into a game where the lads were turning it on and really playing well," he told the club's official website.
"I felt like I slotted in nicely to the formation.
"I am lacking a bit of match fitness but I still have a burst in me even without that.
"Hopefully once I get really up to speed they will see a lot more of it.
"It's been a real test of mental strength. I have had early mornings on my own at the training ground and I've probably been a pain in the neck for my family but they have all stood by me and been great.
"The staff have been fantastic too. Now I want to just keep playing."
Villa manager Alex McLeish was also pleased by Jenas' performance but agrees that there is more to come from the 28-year-old.
McLeish said: "It was great to see Jermaine in action. I was delighted to see him out there.
"We saw his experience and composure when he came on.
"I said to him 'make sure your first touch is a good one' and you could see the composure of the boy.
"He slowed the tempo too. We had great tempo but sometimes there are moments when you have to slow it and show composure and I could see that with Jermaine.
"He has still got a bit to go in terms of sharpness but that will have done his confidence a world of good.
"He now has to find overall fitness to take that next step.
"He has great control, he sees a pass, he has vision and he's athletic.
"When he gets to top fitness, he will be an asset for Villa, no doubt."