Crystal Palace earned themselves a point against top-of-the-table Leeds United today at Selhurst Park, with Luke Dreher netting their first goal as he continues his recovery from long-running injury problems.
The midfielder played a full 90-minutes this afternoon, but revealed that his recovery has been - and still is - "a tough period." He spoke with Palace TV following the game and explained further, saying: "The last two seasons have been really stop/start for me. It's the best part of 18 months I've been out.
"It's been a tough period but I've played in the last few games and it's just a process of building myself up really. I'm building up my minutes slowly. It's been hard but you get to the point where you're back out again and you're just happy to be out again, enjoy it a lot more and cherish it really.
"I think the main thing is to stay fit till the end of the season and anything I can get out of this season is a bonus. I'll keep going, keep working hard every day and get myself as fit as I can be. I felt a lot fitter today that I did in the first game here."
Dreher showcased his talent on the Selhurst turf against strong opposition today, and reflected on his individual performance and goal.
With Leeds sitting first in the Professional Development League North, the Palace man explained that he and the Eagles were always set for a tough challenge.
"It was good, they're a good side," he said. "They're top of the league so we knew coming into it they're a really good side. We knew what they were about: they like to press you, like to get in your face. It was a good game, there were lots of chances and the boys did well. On the balance of it, we probably should have won it but we created quite a few chances, clear-cut chances which on another day we could have scored. It was a good game to play in.
"I was buzzing [to score]. I should have got one more maybe in the first half but when that second chance came, I just stayed composed and slotted it in."
Having trained with the first team before, Dreher is used to being joined by Roy Hodgson's men when he's been fit enough. However today saw him lineup amongst a starting XI including five of them, two in particular standing out:
"[Jairo Riedewald] is so calm on the ball, really good technically and so he's easy to play with. You know you can give him the ball and he'll look after it. It was good to have him alongside me and Jordan [Ayew] up front as well. Those players bring the level up for the whole team really."
To watch the full interview with Dreher, head to Palace TV now. Alternatively, if you're reading on the official Palace app, just click 'Palace TV'.