Lee Evans admits being dropped from the Wigan Athletic side earlier this season delivered the kick up the backside he needed to take his game to the next level.
The Wales international has been impressive in the engine room alongside Sam Morsy since being restored to the starting XI.
And after a spell on the bench, when Darron Gibson was preferred to him, Evans says he’s determined to take this chance with both hands.
“Being dropped probably woke me a little bit if I’m honest,” he told the Wigan Observer.
“My form was up and down, but I’ve trained hard and I’ve got my place back in the team.
“And I need to make sure I keep doing that because there’s quality waiting to come in all over the park.
“It’s never nice being dropped, and missing big games.
“I missed the game against Leeds, the team I supported as a boy, and that hurt a lot.
“But that’s football, the manager makes the decision, and you have to get on with it.
“You’ve got to try and turn that into a positive, and it’s made me doubly determined to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
“Since coming back in I know I’ve got to keep taking my chance, and I feel I’ve done all right.”
The Evans-Morsy combination was born at the beginning of last term, when the Welshman initially joined Latics on loan from Wolves, prior to being recalled in January and sold on to Sheffield United – who allowed him to return to the DW in August.
“We’ve developed a very good partnership, going back to last season,” Evans acknowledged.
“I had to leave halfway through the year but it’s good to be back and it’s going well.
“We like playing alongside each other, we know each other’s game.
“We both want to get on the ball and pass it on, we don’t mind getting stuck in, and hopefully we can keep the partnership going.”