Tottenham Hotspur defender Danny Rose admits he feared the worst after coming on to make his first appearance for eight-and-a-half months against Real Madrid during the Champions League draw at the Bernabeu.
The 27-year-old appeared for the final 10 minutes in the Spanish capital, his first outing since openly criticising the club's transfer policy and wage structure, having been out since January with an ankle problem.
Rose had stated his desire to move back to a club in the north of the United Kingdom and urged Tottenham to sign players he did not have to "Google". He later apologised for the outburst but was nevertheless concerned at the reception he would get when making his return.
But amid a fine result for Spurs in Madrid, the 4,000 travelling faithful sang his name and gave him a rousing reception, much to the relief of the England international.
"My opinions will be voiced in a different way from now on," he said, according to The Evening Standard. "I've been disciplined and we move forward together as a club.
"I did what I did. I was expecting a frosty reception from the fans so I just have to say thank you to them for giving me a great reception when I came on and when I was training on the pitch after the game.
"I'm trying to look forward now for the rest of the season. First and foremost I have to try to win my shirt back. [What I said has] gone now, my manager [Mauricio Pochettino] has forgotten about it and we all move forward and we try to win this club a trophy."
Rose was surprisingly named among the Tottenham substitutes on Tuesday (17 October) just a week after returning to first-team training alongside fellow long-term injury absentee Erik Lamela.
The former Leeds full-back has revealed he was expecting to return against West Ham United in the Carabao Cup next week but, having completed his return, he is ready to challenge for a regular place – starting against Liverpool this weekend.
"The plan in my head was to play some minutes against West Ham," he added. "I did well in training on Sunday and I got in the changing room and was getting ready to have a shower. The manager called me upstairs and said: 'You're doing well, do you think you could do 10, 15 minutes in Madrid?' I said, 'Yes, of course, no problem.'
"It's just been an unexpected couple of days because I thought I would be watching the game on TV at home. It's amazing he put me on in midfield as well. It's been a frustrating period but this last couple of days has made it all worth it.
A berth in Gareth Southgate's England squad for the World Cup is also among Rose's aims, while he is also targeting a piece of silverware – an indication of his commitment to the cause.
"Since I was injured it has been very difficult, very frustrating," explained Rose. "It was hard to watch the lads do well last season and even this season they've done very well, which has also been difficult to watch. But to come on for the last few minutes on Tuesday was special and I can't wait to get going now.
"We were all hoping I wouldn't need an operation. All the signs were saying I didn't and we just hoped and hoped and we lost a bit of time. In the end we decided to have the op and here I am.
"It's taken a lot longer than expected but I'm over the moon I'm back. I want to win my shirt back here, win my shirt back for England. I want to win something here this season and I want to be in the World Cup squad at the end of the season. My season starts now."