Manny Smith's best Christmas present was being told that he was going to start against Shrewsbury Town.
The Greenhous Meadow encounter saw the defender make his first appearance in nearly five months, following a serious knee injury.
There have been some testing times for the 24-year-old throughout his rehabilitation but pulling on a Notts shirt again have made all of the mental and physical challenges worth the hard work.
He said: “It was good just to be back out on the pitch and I enjoyed myself.
“The gaffer named the team at the hotel and I did get a bit nervous, but the gaffer said it’s good to be nervous.
“He told me to keep my game simple and everything else would follow.
“I’ve been training well and doing extra bits after training, and I felt good.
“I was meant to start on Tuesday but it got called off, so I knew I had another chance of starting again on Boxing Day and I was just desperate to get out there.
“It was tiring, I kept looking up at the clock and seeing 74, then 75 – it was good though.
“It’s a case of having an ice bath, getting my Skins on preparing for the weekend now.”
Smith felt that Notts deserved to take more from the Shrewsbury encounter.
He added: “I think we controlled most of the game, we had loads of chances, loads of crossing into the box.
“To end up with a draw from a little fluke cross is disappointing but I think we’ve got loads of positives to build on.”
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