Paul Scholes enjoyed his short spell as a coach at Manchester United, but is delighted to be back among the cut and thrust of a Premier League title chase.
Having hung up his boots at the end of the 2010/11 campaign, the former England international was drafted in to Sir Alex Ferguson's backroom team.
It did not take long for the playing itch to strike, though, and Scholes made a surprise return to the Red Devils first team in January.
The 37-year-old is adamant that he made the right decision in coming out of retirement, with there nothing away from the field that can compete with the thrill of top level competition.
"The coaching was okay but it wasn't anything like playing," Scholes told MUTV.
"I was still coming in every day and seeing players. It was difficult to adjust, I admit that.
"I really missed the playing side up until Christmas, when I went to see the manager."
Scholes has helped United to overhaul arch-rivals Manchester City at the Premier League summit and open up a five-point lead with seven games of the season remaining.
He is a seasoned campaigner when it comes to title challenges, with 10 winners' medals to his name, and knows the Red Devils can take nothing for granted as they close in on a 20th top-flight crown.
"You would have snatched someone's hand off for this position a couple of months ago," he said ahead of Sunday's home date with Queens Park Rangers.
"We have put ourselves in a decent position but there is still a long way to go.
"We are going up against a very good team in City.
"They have had a fantastic season and they have a great squad of players that is capable of beating anybody.
"They can go on runs and win games and are capable of winning at Arsenal. But with this five-point lead we just have to concentrate on ourselves."