GEORGE Thorne admitted to feeling plenty of tension ahead of his big moment for Oxford United this week.

The midfielder was included in the XI against Accrington Stanley, his first league start for 697 days.

Thorne played just over an hour in the 3-0 victory, which took him one step closer to becoming match-fit.

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The 27-year-old was pleased with his performance after an understandably rusty start.

He said: “I was nervous actually.

“It’s been a long time and I had kind of forgotten what those nerves felt like until I was named in the starting line-up.

“Once the first 15 minutes got out of the way I got to grips with the game and I thought I grew into it.

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“It’s positive from me and there’s a lot more to come in terms of fitness and sharpness, but I think it was an OK starting block.”

Boss Karl Robinson’s careful management of Thorne may mean he drops to the bench against Southend United tomorrow.

The January signing from Derby County said: “Hopefully I’ve given the manager food for thought, but the main thing is whoever goes out there we have to keep giving ourselves the best opportunity to win the game.”