Scunthorpe United midfielder Damien Mozika labelled a 'Trojan' after display against Notts County
Returning midfielder Damien Mozika has been labelled a 'Trojan' for the contribution he made during his first start of the season.
The Frenchman, sidelined since the summer having had surgery on a long-standing ankle problem, played the full 90 minutes of a pulsating 2-2 draw with Notts County on Saturday - and capped a man-of-the-match display with the Iron's second goal.
Given Mozika had managed just 33 minutes of football from the substitutes' bench in the three games prior to the weekend, manager Brian Laws admits he had no intentions for the former Bury and Nancy midfielder to play the whole game against the Magpies.
But when skipper Paul Reid was sent off in the 68th minute, those plans had to change.
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"He was very, very good - but he was never meant to get 90 minutes, definitely not," Laws admitted.
"We had a Plan B, to change if necessary, but unfortunately the sending off forced our hand really and he had to dig in.
"He'll benefit for having 90 minutes, however, I have no idea what he's going to be like on Monday and Tuesday.
"Adrenaline will have been pumping around his body – it had to be on Saturday because it was an important game for him.
"We had to throw him in there. We couldn't really afford to rest him, we had to throw him in at the deep end and he swam magnificently.
"He was a Trojan and he kept his shape and his discipline. He made some important challenges.
"I was delighted with him getting a goal as well. That will have given him a huge lift."
Scunthorpe will assess Mozika's fitness today ahead of tomorrow's match with his former club Bury at Glanford Park.
The return of Josh Walker from a one-match suspension gives the Iron the chance to rest the 25-year-old, but Laws is sure the fact that the next game is against the Shakers, whom Mozika left to join United 15 months ago, will aid his recovery.
"I don't know what we're going to get in the next couple of days, but he did his job at the weekend," the Iron boss added.
"At least we've got another player coming back, so if we need to rest him, we can.
"He could be a tin man, although the fact that the next game is against his former club might just give him a little bit of extra zest.
"I'm sure he'll be banging on my door saying 'leave me in', but we'll consider what happens."