Ciaran Clark is hoping to feature in Aston Villa's game against Newcastle on Saturday but admits he may have to bide his time and earn a recall.
The defender is available again following a suspension for collecting 10 yellow cards this season that ruled him out of the matches with Wolves and Everton.
During his absence, the experienced centre-back duo of Richard Dunne and James Collins regained fitness and played at Goodison Park.
Clark therefore recognises that it will be difficult to regain a starting spot but is prepared to fight for his place.
He said: "It is always a shame when you're playing well and in and around the team and you pick up a suspension or injury.
Keep your head
"But if people come in and do well you know that they are going to be in the team the following week and then you are just going to have to bide your time.
"I know I will have to work hard and show in training that I am good enough to be involved.
"Hopefully I can train hard and force my way into the manager's thoughts.
"I want to be playing in every game and, when you are not playing, it is disappointing but you have got to keep your head."
Clark has also played at left-back this season and even had a spell as a holding midfielder.