Hermann Hreidarsson savoured his first Pompey start since a career threatening-injury and admitted: It was beautiful.
Hreidarsson completed his return from the Achilles injury which many feared would put an end to his playing days with his first start since March against Millwall.
The 36-year-old has made four appearances off the bench since returning to action in October.
But it was his first start since rupturing his Achilles against Spurs at White Hart Lane which really sealed his return.
Hreidarsson explained he was delighted to finally put his injury problems well and truly to bed.
He spoke of his frustration at his side not being able to pick up a maximum from a game he thought they should have won, though.
Hreidarsson said: 'That first start has been a long time coming. It was beautiful to be back out there again.
'It was great to be in the thick of things and it was positive for me.
'But I wanted to get the win and come back into a winning team.
'That wasn't to be, but luckily we can rectify that quickly against Leeds.
'You focus on getting back to your best when you have a problem like I had.
'You appreciate it will take a bit of time.
'Now it's about getting a few minutes under my belt and doing it week-in, week-out.
'I feel back up there, for sure. I've been back for nearly three months and I've not missed training.
'So, fitness-wise, I am probably as fit as anyone.
'Now it's about continuing to build on that.'
There were grave doubts about whether Hreidarsson could come back from a severe injury like he suffered in the twilight of his career.
But he showed typical resolve and determination to get back into the picture at Pompey.
He vowed there was never any doubts in his mind he would be back, aside from the ensuing moments after the injury was suffered.
Steve Cotterill has had to hold back the Iceland international, who has been keen to feature for the Blues for some time.
He understands why his manager has taken a safety-first approach with him.
But now the huge fans' favourite is determined to hold down a spot in the side he joined in 2007 once again.
Hreidarsson said: 'For the first hour after the injury I was worried but then I decided I would have a go at getting back.
'The process has been gradual, although I have always been on schedule all the way.
'I always thought I would get back but it is nice to now be seeing the rewards for that.
'I can see what the gaffer was saying about holding me back.
'It's a big injury and it takes a bit of time to get back to where you were.
'We haven't got a reserve team so they can't chuck me in there.
'It's good to have 11 v 11 sessions to help me through it.
'But there is no substitute for proper games and that is what I'm looking for now.'