Blackburn's Steven Reid says big ambitions have kept him going through a 'mentally tough' few years.
The injury plagued midfielder has missed almost two entire seasons in the least three years at Rovers with ongoing back and knee problems.
Featuring only four times last season after fracturing his back then suffering a cruciate knee ligament, a recurrence of the same knee problem ruled the 28-year-old out for the whole of this term.
Now making a steady recovery, Reid admits his ambition was the only thing that kept him going through a troubled time in his football career.
Speaking ahead of a crunch WC qualifier for his native Republic of Ireland, Reid has reflected on his international career, believing the best is yet to come.
"I got brought in to the Irish team under the new manager Giovanni Trapottoni," he told the Lancashire Telegraph.
"Obviously I was out for a year before that but he brought me straight back in, put me in centre midfield for the three games I was involved in.
"He has let me know I have a big part to play in the squad. There are two important games coming up and there is no reason why we can't qualify for the World Cup in 2010.
"I have been lucky enough playing in a World Cup six years ago in Japan. It passes you by while you are out there, it is difficult to take it all in.
"But hopefully we can get there again next year, I can play a big part and really enjoy it.
"There are a couple of things to aim for and that has been a huge factor in helping me through some pretty tough moments.
"I just have to make sure I get the knee back to how it should be and then hopefully Premier League football next year, and a World Cup would just cap it all off."
Reid, who pays regular visits to his surgeon in America, is on target for a return to action at the start of next season.
"It is going well," he added. "I am four months in now, I went to America two weeks ago to see the surgeon, he is happy with it and it looks in good shape.
"I just have to build it up a bit and I am still on target for pre-season."