Jonathan Woodgate has admitted it felt good to make his first-team return for Tottenham against AC Milan.
Woodgate was introduced just before the hour mark at the San Siro after Vedran Corluka suffered an injury in a crunching challenge with Mathieu Flamini.
William Gallas switched to right-back and Woodgate slotted in alongside Michael Dawson, helping Spurs seal a memorable 1-0 victory in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League tie.
Woodgate had not played for Harry Redknapp's side in more than a year due to a serious groin problem that threatened to bring his career to a premature end.
He concedes there were dark days to battle through during his lay-off but was thrilled to be back in action on Tuesday.
"It was a great feeling to get back," the 31-year-old told Sky Sports News.
"A lot of people doubted whether I could get back but you have got to show the determination to not let the bad times get you down."
Woodgate also had words of praise for Tottenham's performance in Italy, saying: "Full credit to the lads. It was a fantastic result for us."