"It was a good feeling to get out there with the lads again," he says of his starting role at Pride Park.
"It has been more or less six months in the big picture and I hadn't trained at all going into the game - so I was delighted to get through the game.
"Obviously the more matches I play the better I will be so I am just looking forward to playing some more games in the weeks to come."
He has, though, had his training curtailed by a toe injury, and adds:
"It is nothing too serious; it should be healed up over the weekend hopefully and I will be fit for Wednesday again.
"But it was a bit of a setback really, it is a bit annoying - it is just one of those things, only a few days, and nothing major."
It will be just two more games under Trevor Brooking for Michael, who, anticipating the arrival of Alan Pardew, adds:
"It is a big change for the club; I suppose he is going to want to come in and do things his way but whatever the lads have done so far seems to be working.
"So it is one of those things where hopefully we will push on and go to the top of the league.
"Considering everything that has happened since May when we got relegated I think we would have settled for third at this stage in the league.
"It has been a good test for the lads though obviously you can't expect to win every game though you want to; third, though, with three home games coming up, is not a bad place to be."
And he shrugs off the furore surrounding the build-up to the Turkey game, adding:
"It is all about timing; there is always something that seems to get blown up around a big England game - there is always something surrounding these games and a big deal is being made of it.
"It is a nightmare and I feel so sorry for Rio - it is one of those things that could have been avoided."