SOUTHEND United’s on loan defender Jakub Sokolik was happier than most following Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Bury.
The drab Roots Hall encounter saw the Liverpool centre-back make his first senior appearance in England.
And the 20-year-old was delighted to mark the occasion with a clean sheet.
“I came over here four years ago and this is my first game which is good and so is a clean sheet,” said Sokolik.
“I had been due to play at Scunthorpe and it was so frustrating to get stuck in traffic.
“I left Liverpool at 12 and didn’t get to the ground until 6.30pm which was very frustrating.
“But that let me see the team play which maybe helped and it was great to get out there and play against Bury.
“It was just frustrating we didn’t get the win.”
Sokolik, who is with the Shrimpers until the end of the season, looked strong alongside John Egan at the heart of the home-side’s defence.
Goalkeeper Daniel Bentley therefore had very little to do between the sticks.
But Sokolik found the style of play totally different to what he had been used to in the youth and reserve teams at Anfield.
“It was more physical than what I had been used to but I enjoyed it,” said the Czech defender.
“It was a good test up against the more experienced players because they know more and are likely to punish you.
“It’s what I need though and I’m enjoying playing again I had been out injured for a little while with a stress fracture in my back before coming here.”
However, Sokolik added he was now feeling fine and his display earned praise from manager Phil Brown.
“I was delighted with Jakub and John Egan as well,” said Brown.
“We put two youngsters together back there which was maybe a bit of a risk but they put their bodies on the line and did a really good job.”