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Gavin Hoyte: "All the hard work has paid off now"

24 October 2016

Defender Gavin Hoyte reflects on his return to the first-team fold after nine months out...

The cherry on top of Barnet's cake on Saturday was Gavin Hoyte's return to the side after ten months on the sidelines with knee ligament damage.

Hoyte came back into the starting XI for the first time since suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury at Stevenage in January and completed 90 minutes as the Bees beat Wycombe Wanderers 2-0.

It was an unexpected bonus for Barnet to see the former Arsenal youngster back in the team and Hoyte was understandably thrilled having made his long-awaited return.

"It has been a long ten months working in the gym so all the hard work has paid off now," a beaming Hoyte said after the win at Adams Park.

"I have been working hard with Luigi, the physio, and all the players have been helping me so it is good to finally get back out there.

"I have been watching in stands so to get out there feels good. You always want to be playing and when you're not it's hard.

"Everyone around me has helped me get through it and I really appreciate that.

"I got a standing ovation when I went back into the dressing room and that felt really good."

The win was the perfect tonic for the Bees after last weekend's loss at home to Exeter City. Goals from Mauro Vilhete and John Akinde sealed the win, but every bit as pleasing was the clean sheet.

"I think after last week we defended well, everyone put in 100 per cent effort and that showed in the 2-0 win and a clean sheet. I think everyone worked hard and it shows how much we wanted the win.

"Our performances haven't been bad, they've just been missing small things. Today we  worked hard and got the result we deserved.

"It doesn't get much better than keeping a clean sheet and winning. As a defender clean sheets are what you live for so that's what we want to do."

With Hoyte and James Pearson both sidelined for the start of the season it has fallen to Harry Taylor and Mauro Vilhete to plug the gap left by their absences.

Both have impressed while filling the void and Hoyte knows he will have to fight tooth and nail to ensure he gets the number two shirt again this week.

"I want to make the right-back spot my own," said Hoyte. "Whoever has been filling in at right-back has done really well so I need to step up my game and go from there.

"Harry and Mauro aren't natural right-backs but they have come in and done brilliantly so it will be hard to just break back into the team."

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