Ben Turner has revealed he feared for his career as he battled a knee injury and is determined to repay Cardiff's faith in him.
The 23-year-old had not played since November and was still recovering from surgery when Cardiff made the move to sign him from Coventry in August.
Despite the question marks over his fitness, Bluebirds boss Malky Mackay was convinced he would return to his best form and pressed ahead with the transfer anyway, sealing a £750,000 deal on deadline day.
Turner did finally return to fitness and made his long-awaited debut against Hull earlier this month before making his first start against Ipswich last Saturday.
The defender admits he feared the worst at times during a 'frustrating' injury lay-off but is delighted to be looking to the future with optimism.
"It's been almost a year since my injury and it has been frustrating," he told Wales Online.
"When you are not playing you do lose confidence and self-esteem. You feel you can't make a difference and you do start to feel bad about yourself.
"For short periods you do think if you are ever going to get back, but you must believe you will. My injury was never considered career threatening, but I kept thinking, 'if it isn't, then why am I not back?'
"You start asking that question in your head, but it's behind me finally now thankfully.
"I did not want people here looking at me saying 'well, we've spent money on this guy, when is he going to play?' I wanted to show people I'm ready and I'm glad to have ticked that box and I can now move on.
"You need a run of games to get to your peak and that's what I'm aiming to do."