Tom Dele-Bashiru was delighted to get himself on the scoresheet in his first Watford match back after damaging his anterior cruciate ligament.

The midfielder looked set to play an important part in The Hornets' promotion challenge last season but was ruled out in October when he picked up the injury against Reading.

Now back and nearing fitness once again, the Nigerian played 30 minutes of the pre-season friendly against St Albans City as part of the Under 23s and marked the occasion with a goal.

Speaking in a club interview after the match, he said his return was the result of a lot of hard work.

“It was a great feeling being back out there again, doing what I love,” said Dele-Bashiru.

“These past 10 months have been really difficult. I’ve been working really hard in the gym, trying to improve myself day-by-day so that I can get back out on the pitch. So I was really happy to get back out there.

"I was happy to get the goal as well. I was very very happy to score. The type of player I want to be, I want to score goals and assist goals, so it was a good feeling to score on my return after such a long time out.”

The match marked the next stage in the 21-year-old's recovery as he eases his way into contact training.

He says that his teammates have helped him with the gradual process.

“In training the boys have built me up back into full contact really well,” he said.

“The first few weeks I wasn’t doing full contact.

“I’ve had tackles in training. Psychologically I feel confident. I feel strong in my knees and in the game there were a few challenges that I just rode.

“Because I’ve not been doing full contact, it’s felt a bit like the others are further advanced in their pre-season than I am, but obviously to get 30 minutes to bridge that gap, we’ll build up from there and keep moving forward.”