It’s now full steam ahead for Stewart Carswell after he returned from injury in Dumbarton’s 1-0 defeat to Queen of the South on Saturday.

The midfielder, who works on the railways as well as playing for the Sons, made his first appearance since the start of July, after being sidelined by bone bruising in his legs.

But the 23-year-old looks to be back on track, and hopes his side can do the same against Dunfermline on Saturday.

He said: “I’ve only been back a week now, it’s good for me personally to be back and in the team, the main priority is now to pick up three points from our next game.

“I was struggling to shake it off. I tried coming back two or three weeks ago and it just wasn’t ready. I’m just hoping it’s all cleared up now.

“My whole body’s sore, and that’s probably not the best surface to play your first 90 minutes on but I’ll rest up and prepare for the next game.”

The competition for places is looks to be greater than it was last year, with five natural central midfielders on the books at Dumbarton.

And Carswell says that can only benefit the team going forward this year.

He added: “The competition’s good, the more bodies you have it creates a better atmosphere, it keeps you on your toes and you’ve got to up your game, and that’s up to whoever plays that they start.

“It just shows you can pick up injuries along the way, we’ve got a better squad numbers wise this year and I think it was needed.”

While he was happy with his overall performance on Saturday, Carswell admitted his side started off slowly and took too long to get going.

It was a common trait last season, and the midfielder hopes it doesn’t creep into their game again this season.

He said: “The first half we were a bit off it, but I think in the second half we deserved to knick something, Queens will probably say they deserved it, but I don’t think they caused us many problems.

“In the last 10 minutes they had a few breakaways, and that was it really.

“We got a wee bit of a jag at half-time, and we needed it because in the first half we were a mile off it.

“We stuck to our game, gave it an extra 10 per cent and got a reaction from everybody, and that’s what we needed. We can’t wait until half-time until we’ve gone a goal down.”