Alan Hutton is delighted to have forced his way back into the fold at Tottenham Hotspur following a frustrating spell.
The Scottish full-back was tipped for a bright future at White Hart Lane when he was snapped up for around £9million from Rangers in January 2008.
Unfortunately, things did not go entirely to plan for him in North London and he soon tumbled down the pecking order.
He was sent out on loan to Sunderland in February 2010, appearing to signal the end of his Spurs career.
Hutton has, however, been able to hold down a regular role in Harry Redknapp's plans this term and admits he is pleased to finally be proving his worth.
"It was hard at times because the team were doing really well, they were winning a lot of games, so everyone was finding it tough," the 26-year-old told Sky Sports News.
"I knew there were top internationals playing at any one moment, but it was just a case of having a chat every now and again and knowing you were still needed and your time would come.
"It was tough though. I came down and maybe played six matches before I got injured and was out for the best part of a year. It was as if I had been put in the background a bit, so when I got another chance I was determined to take it."
Hutton is not the only one to have scaled the heights this season, with Spurs catching the eye at home and abroad.
They have progressed safely through to the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League and a glamour tie with Italian giants AC Milan now holds no fear for Redknapp's buoyant troops.
Hutton said: "Nobody really expected us to do this well, especially in the group we got. Everyone is on a high at the moment and we will just continue to work hard and see where that takes us.
"We have got the squad and the ability to really go and push for trophies this year."
That search for silverware includes the Premier League title, with Tottenham currently well-placed among the chasing pack.
Asked if they could go all the way and land the crown, Hutton said: "I don't see why not. I think we are down the back at the moment but that's the way we like it, there is no pressure on us.
"Everyone can say we have got a good chance, that's fine, we will just keep plugging away and let the rest take the pressure.
"It's a really tough league and a team has to be on their A game for the whole season to win. That's what puts us in with a shout."
Which team got the toughest UEFA Champions League draw?