Nicky Deverdics is thrilled to be back at Hartlepool United and in favour too.
The 29-year-old made his first Pools start in 2017 when he played in the 2-0 home defeat to Wycombe Wanderers.
When you are not playing you lose your match-sharpnessNICKY DEVERDICS
Granted, it was at left-back, not exactly his first-choice position, but he performed well there, earning praise from boss Dave Jones.
The former Dover goalscoring midfielder is likely to be replaced by Liam Donnelly for Saturday’s League Two trip to Blackpool – but don’t be surprised to see him switched to his favoured position.
Having been totally out of the picture in the opening weeks of the year, Deverdics has told SportMail of his delight at regaining his place.
Deverdics spent a month on loan at Dover in February when he regained his fitness and his zest.
“I went away to get game-time and get match-sharp,” he explained.
“I had played in the win over Morecambe at the end of the year when we were three up in half-an-hour.
“We won the game but I didn’t start the next match and I didn’t even get on as a sub.
“Not that long after I was out of the squad altogether and I didn’t understand what had happened.
“I got the chance of going out on loan to Dover, an environment I had done well at before.
“So with things going not so well here I thought it was a good move for me.
“It was like a breath of fresh air and I came back rejuvenated.
“The gaffer said that if I got out and did well then I would get a chance and he’s been true to his word.”
Jones recalled Deverdics from the National League side ahead of the match at Notts County.
The former Newcastle United player came on for the last half-hour at Meadow Lane and then got even longer on the field in the 1-0 victory at Cambridge.
Deverdics even had a hand in the winner for Michael Woods and Jones had no hesitation at starting him at full-back at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium on Saturday.
“That month at Dover was invaluable,” said the much-travelled left-footer.
“When you are not playing you lose your match-sharpness.
“I was put into the reserve team and that was tough mentally for me.
“But Dover went well and I’ve come back feeling good and it’s been nice to play for Hartlepool again and things are good.”