David Wheater hopes to be given the opportunity to establish himself in the Bolton side if Gary Cahill completes a switch to Chelsea.
Wheater's late header rescued Bolton from the embarrassment of a third-round FA Cup defeat on Saturday at League Two side Macclesfield, who had been leading 2-1 but were in the end relieved to hold out for a 2-2 draw.
Cahill's likely move to Chelsea should give a chance for Wheater to revive a career that has stalled somewhat since the dizzy heights of 2008 when Fabio Capello had the then Middlesbrough man on the bench for two England matches.
The 24-year-old centre-back has vowed to grab the chance with both hands.
Wheater said: "I want to be playing and if Gaz does go I will miss him as he's a good friend of mine, but it means there is a chance to get in the team and hopefully stay there.
"It has been stop and start for me this season. I was in the team and then got a red card and was out of it so hopefully I can stay in the team now."
Good to score
Wheater was referring to his first league start of the season when he played against Arsenal in place of the ill Cahill, and was red-carded for holding back Theo Walcott.
The defender admitted his heart was in his mouth in the first half against Macclesfield when he hauled back Matthew Hamshaw and with the 5,757-strong crowd baying for blood referee Jonathan Moss produced a card - but a yellow one this time.
"I worried a little bit," said Wheater. "I thought here we go again but Joe [Riley] was there covering so the yellow card was the right decision.
"It was good to score too - it has nearly been a year since I last scored and that was for Middlesbrough."