Tottenham defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto has praised manager Harry Redknapp for bringing the best out of him.
The 25-year-old left-back has played in 13 of Spurs' Premier League games so far this season and has made himself a regular in the Cameroon national team that has qualified for next year's World Cup.
Assou-Ekotto moved to White Hart Lane from Lens three years ago, but fell out of favour under previous managers Martin Jol and Juande Ramos.
He has been a part of the Tottenham team that has made an excellent start to the campaign this term, playing in the 9-1 demolition of Wigan at the weekend, and praised Redknapp for keeping faith with him.
"There are a lot of factors involved, I had a long injury and then only played six months before that," he said. "It's about adapting to the game and now I'm more confident.
"Harry obviously believes in me, the other managers maybe didn't believe in me as much.
"They said I should be a happier person or smile more, or speak more English - but it doesn't matter because I can prove it on the pitch.
"That is what I'm doing at the moment by playing more and becoming a better player for Tottenham Hotspur."
Assou-Ekotto was born in France but opted to play his international football for Cameroon after a self-imposed international exile when his father passed away so he could be with his mother during international breaks.
The Lions qualified for the South Africa tournament with a win over Morocco in their final game of the group stage earlier in the month, and the Spurs defender is eagerly anticipating the competition in his home continent.
"Going to the World Cup feels excellent," he added. "We had to win in Morocco which we did and it's the first World Cup in Africa so it will be unforgettable.
"I'm very proud, all the family in Cameroon know they have a national player and I would rather play for a team that qualified like we did and not wait until the 116th minute to go through (like France)."