Ryan Thomas is delighted with his long-awaited first minutes in the shirt of PSV. The Nieuw-Zeelander was already taken over from PEC Zwolle last summer, but immediately suffered a major knee injury.

"It was a difficult year, but luckily I have now made my debut for our own fans. That we also won is great," said Thomas at FOX Sports after the 4-1 win at VVV-Venlo.

"I sustained my injury after two training sessions last year. It has been difficult to watch since then, but I have always felt part of the team thanks to my fellow players and the trainer."

Thomas, for whom PSV paid around 2.75 million euros, was already in the selection against Ajax, FC Groningen and PEC Zwolle in the past few weeks, but did not get any playing time from trainer Mark van Bommel.

Against VVV, he came in for a 3-1 score in the final minutes for Érick Gutiérrez. Shortly after the entry of the midfielder, teammate Donyell Malen set the final score at 4-1.

Ryan Thomas in PSV's shirt. (Photo: Pro Shots)

"Earlier injuries made it harder"

The 24-year-old Thomas looks back on a difficult rehabilitation period, but is happy that he has taken the time. He often had knee problems in the past.

"It was a long and lonely time of thirteen or fourteen months, but I'm happy to be back now," said the New Zealand international. "My earlier injuries made it harder, but I didn't want to do it any other way. I am now fitter and stronger than ever."

With the victory over VVV, which only came about in the second half, PSV kept pace with leader Ajax. The team from Amsterdam stays ahead of the competitor from Eindhoven on goal difference.

After the international match, PSV will visit FC Utrecht next Saturday (kick-off: 8.45 p.m.). Five days later the Austrian LASK comes to the Philips Stadium in the Europa League.

View the results, the stand and the program in the Eredivisie