Sunderland midfielder Jack Colback says he will not "get the hump" if new boss Martin O'Neill continues to use him in a bit-part role.
Colback - who has started more games than any other Black Cats central midfielder this campaign - came off the bench against Everton on Boxing Day to grab his first goal for the club in a 1-1 draw.
It was the second Premier League match in succession that the 22-year-old had started on the substitutes' bench, but the former Ipswich loanee says he is just happy to be involved.
"If the manager decides to change the team and leave me out, then there's obviously a reason for that," said Colback in the Sunderland Echo. "I think I've done as well as I'd have hoped so I'm not going to get the hump at getting dropped.
"Now I've just got to push on and try to get my place back in the side. With the squad we have, I think it's going to happen all season.
"There's a lot of good players where I play so I didn't get too disheartened by losing my place and he's brought me on two times at key moments in the last two games. I'm enjoying playing and hopefully I can get back to starting games pretty soon."
And Colback - adamant he will be claiming his goal against the Toffees, despite the ball taking a sizeable deflection off Sylvain Distin - refused to blame referee Howard Webb after gifting Everton a penalty, despite replays showing there was no foul on the Toffees' Leon Osman.
Colback said: "It's clearly not a penalty, but football, particularly in the Premier League, is such a fast-paced game.
"The referee has only got a split second and he's decided to give it. I'm sure in other games, we'll get ones that maybe shouldn't have been.
"But it's obviously disappointing to concede when it wasn't a pen. We've got to forget about that now though and move on."
Sunderland host big-spending Manchester City on New Year's Day - a fixture they won 1-0 last season thanks to a Darren Bent strike.