Nicky Maynard delighted with Cardiff return after injury

Nicky Maynard

Cardiff City striker Nicky Maynard was delighted to find himself back on the pitch and the scoreboard in Saturday's 2-2 draw at Hull City.

The 26-year-old has been out since October after

But Maynard came off the bench at Hull to score a last-minute penalty.

"It's been a long eight months for me. I've been out for so long and it's just great to cap the end of the season off with a goal," Maynard said.

"To be honest I didn't know if we had a designated penalty taker; we usually have Peter Whittingham, obviously he wasn't on the pitch... a few of the lads were saying: 'Let Nicky take it,' and I'm not one to turn a penalty away.

"We let people take penalties, we're in it together - no big egos - and I think that's why we're the best team in the Championship."

Maynard joined Cardiff from West Ham United on a three-year-deal in August.

But after his early-season injury in a win over Millwall, Maynard has had to watch from the sidelines as his team-mates claimed the Championship title and with it promotion to the Premier League.

"It was disappointing to get injured after two and a half games, and with such a big injury, so just to be back on the pitch was massive for me," Maynard said.

"The lads have been so good, the manager Malky Mackay has been brilliant, the staff have been brilliant and it just shows how tight-knit we are."

Maynard was also promoted from the Championship last season with West Ham, but failed to figure in the Premier League before he was sold as surplus to requirements.

Now the former Bristol City player is determined to make the most of his second opportunity in the top flight.

"I got promoted with West Ham but I didn't play in the Premier League, but that's where everybody wants to play," Maynard added.

"It's massive for us - Cardiff City - and the players that haven't played in the Premier League.

"We've made it now and it's down to us to establish ourselves week in week out.

"I know I can, I believe in my ability. I'm here now at Cardiff and hopefully I'll get my chance and it's just down to me to take it."