Graham Stack has revealed his delight at returning for the Bees’ first team, following Monday’s 2-1 win against Luton Town.
Reflecting on his recovery and the game against The Hatters, Graham said:
“I’m delighted to be back – it’s been about seven months since the last game I played against Bristol Rovers.
“It’s been a long, long time, and it’s been a lot of hard work.
“It’s been very frustrating, but I’m pleased to be back out there and involved again.
“To get a win in a local derby made it a bit special as well.
“I feel alright following the game.
“Physically I feel ok, but I’ll have to get myself right now and recover properly – but that’s the same as everyone else really.
“There was nothing to worry me when I was coming off after the match.
“Obviously I’m a little bit sore and a little bit stiff.
“That’s only natural, having not played for so long.
“I feel that I did ok in the Luton game – I kicked the ball reasonably well.
“That was my biggest concern going into the match, because that is where I was initially getting pain.
“But once I got out there I felt that I kicked the ball well, so I’m delighted with that.
“Overall, I’ve been out for a while, so it was good just to be part of the team.
“I’ve missed that massively, so the biggest plus for me was to be involved again.
“Obviously I’m over the moon to win the game too!
“I thought that we were brilliant against Luton.
“The boys were outstanding and we worked our socks off.
“We were tired in the last 15 minutes and they got a lot more of the ball – they moved it around, and in fairness we struggled to deal with that.
“But we showed tremendous character and great belief.
“When we conceded so late in the game, it was Luton who had the momentum; they probably felt that they could have gone on to get a winner.
“But we stuck with it and stayed together.
“We’ve got a really good group here, with a lot of leaders in there.
“I think that really showed on Monday, in the way that we went on to win the game late on.
“I’d like to say a massive well done to John Akinde – he’s missed two penalties, but he showed a lot of character.
“I don’t think a single player doubted John when it came to the penalty, so credit where credit is due.
“Now we want to win as many games as we can, before the end of the season.
“Individually it’s important for some players in terms of contracts and things like that, but we’re expected to play well regardless.
“People pay to watch us play, and that’s why we do it – they’re our motivation between now and the end of the campaign.
“Of course we’re not going to win the league this year, but there are plenty of people that we still need to perform well for.
“As individuals, as a team, for the manager, and for the people who come and watch – so there is plenty to play for, regardless of where we are in the league table.”
Finally, Graham added:
“I’d also like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has helped me to get fit; the medical staff, the players and the manager, who has given me his full support.
“The coaching staff have also been brilliant, and my family have really supported me throughout my time on the side lines.”