Morecambe boss Jim Bentley admitted it was a “gamble” bringing Jack Redshaw back in the 1-0 victory at Burton on Saturday.
Last season’s top scorer came on as a late substitute for his first appearance of the season after hip surgery.
The striker is back ahead of schedule with Bentley conceding it was a risk but one that gave players and fans alike a big lift.
The Shrimps boss said: “Maybe it was a gamble, but he’d trained well and will play for the reserves (at Oldham) on Tuesday.
“He’s looking sharp, he’s looking fit in training.
“We gave him eight minutes or whatever it was.
“I thought with two centre halves tiring in the game, both on bookings, loads of space in behind, we’ve seen Jack come off the bench and be a real outlet for us.
“It might have been a little bit early for him because he was really blowing after a minute or two, but he’s been out for that long.
“We’ve got to monitor him and manage him and get him right back to where we want him to be.
“It’s great psychologically for him to be back as well as for the fans, which you could see from the reaction he got.
“It’s just brilliant to see him back on the pitch.”
For Bentley the performance that really caught the eye was that of Kevin Ellison, whose shot deflected off Ryan Williams and in for the only goal of the game. He said: “I’ve got to say Ellison was fantastic today.
“I thought he led the line really well and looked like a 17-year-old with the energy that he had.
“He is what he is, he is going to push the boundaries and be close to getting sent off and get his bookings and all that but you can’t take that out of his game.
“It’s like Wayne Rooney, he wouldn’t be the same player.
“But he was great for us today and is gutted it hit Ryan on the bum and went in!
“It’s a great win for us, everyone of them had played their part, even the lads who’ve come off the bench today and they’ve seen us home for a great 1-0 away victory.”