Darren Bent was happy to repay Fabio Capello's faith with a goal after admitting he did not expect to start England's Euro 2012 qualifier against Wales.
England returned to the top of Group G courtesy of Saturday's comfortable win at the Millennium Stadium which was secured by early goals from Frank Lampard and Bent.
Aston Villa striker Bent was chosen to spearhead Fabio Capello's new 4-3-3 system, but he had been largely overlooked in the media in the build-up to the game.
Andy Carroll had been tipped to start alongside Wayne Rooney, while Jermain Defoe was also put forward as a more likely candidate to start.
However, after netting his third goal in three games for England, Bent is determined to grasp his opportunity to stay in the team.
"This is everything I've been waiting for since I got my first chance in 2005," said Bent.
"It's been a long, long wait and finally it has come, and I'm grabbing on to the opportunity with both hands.
"I don't know about international football getting easy, but Fabio showed faith in me, gave me the nod and I'm delighted to have scored.
"There was a lot of speculation saying it wasn't going to be me starting, but Andy Carroll or Jermain Defoe, and I kind of expected not to be playing.
"But the manager has picked me, stuck by me and I've repaid that with a goal.
"He told the team I was playing and told me what he wanted from me. I said I'd go out and do that.
"It's always hard when you play 10 minutes here and 10 minutes there. When you get a run in the side, you have confidence to keep on going.
"I want to be the No.9 for as long as possible. There are a lot of top strikers around but, hopefully, Fabio will keep picking me and I will keep producing the goods."