Stoke defender Danny Higginbotham insists he will keep taking his chances in the hope of winning back a regular spot in the side.
The 31-year-old was handed a rare start at Wigan on Saturday after Andy Wilkinson failed a fitness test and Robert Huth was shifted to right-back.
The encounter, which ended in a 2-2 stalemate, marked only Higginbotham's third Premier League start of the season, and the stopper knows there are no guarantees he will keep his spot at home to Blackpool on Saturday.
However, he hopes a run of five games in 14 days over the festive period will provide opportunities for more action.
"Hopefully I will get a game. It is our busiest time," Higginbotham told The Sentinel.
"I am a footballer and I want to be playing games. Working all week and then being on the bench is very disappointing.
"You can get a bit despondent at times, but you have to get on with it.
"There's only one way of getting match fitness and that is playing games, but I think I have been able to keep myself in decent nick.
"I had a situation last year when I wasn't playing for three or four months and then I got an opportunity near Christmas and stayed in the team for the rest of the season. That gives me hope. I just need to keep taking my chances when I get them."
Higginbotham was frustrated to see the Potters twice relinquish their advantage against the Latics at the weekend.
He added: "Every Premier League game is tough, so any point you pick up is a good one. This one was no exception.
"But we had the lead twice, so for them to come back and score with a couple of deflections was really disappointing for us."
Despite forfeiting two points at the DW Stadium, Higginbotham was delighted to see the travelling fans provide so much support.
"They were brilliant, it really did feel like a home game," he said. "They are great home and away and we appreciate them so much.
"It is really needed at times and this game was no different."