Tottenham defender Michael Dawson says he found it hard watching his team-mates from the sidelines for most of last season.
The centre-back managed only 13 appearances in a campaign plagued by injury and has admitted he found it frustrating to have to sit and watch his side battle for Champions League football.
“I’ll admit that I’m not my normal outgoing self when I’m injured – particularly when it is as long term like this one has been,” he told the club’s official website.
“The medics here are great and they try to keep you positive as well as putting you right. But I find it so hard. The worst thing is hearing all the banter as the lads go out to train and being stuck behind.
“I’ve certainly got to know Tom Huddlestone a lot better because he’s hardly played at all last season so he’s had it even harder than me.
“We’ve been working hard together but it’s great that the two of us managed to get back out there before the summer break and we can now look forward to next season and coming back stronger.
“There’s no doubt that the season is a long, testing one and you have to demonstrate mental as well as physical strength to come through. There’s always pressure, high expectations, because this is a great club and that tough inner core is crucial at this level.
“But those demands don’t just disappear if and when you’re injured. It’s all still there but in a different way because you are frustrated and determined to recover as quickly as possible but you just can’t get there.
“You are frustrated but you have to stay positive and keep believing. In fact what else can you do?”
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