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In an interview with a BBC African football correspondent, the joy that Dickson Etuhu finally feels about being able to play top-level football again shines through. The midfielder saw his opportunities limited at Sunderland by the sheer vastness of the huge squad that Roy Keane had put together and there was more frustration as his attempts to make an impression at Fulham after his transfer deadline day move were frustrated by injuries.

Etuhu made his debut as a late substitute in our 3-0 win over Middlesbrough and then replaced the injured Jimmy Bullard with only half an hour gone at White Hart Lane on Boxing Day. He made his first start for the club in the dramatic derby yesterday and produced a performance full of determination, effort and hunger. I’ve got a funny feeling that there’s plenty more to come from the Nigerian.

It was great to feel the atmosphere once again; it’s something I have really missed. It’s difficult when you come back from a long term knee injury.

I feel as though I’m getting stronger. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season now.

There is no point pushing too hard for personal lost time but instead to fight for the team and that’s what I have to do. Now I have to work harder and hopefully I can establish myself in the middle again.

Nothing is impossible and we know we can start translating our weekly performance to maximum points. I am so happy to be in this group and that motivates everyone here to want to give more.

I am so happy to be in this group and that motivates everyone here to want to give more. The last game is a true reflection that we can achieve more than people expect of us.