Zat Knight has admitted he needed a 'kick up the backside' from Bolton Wanderers boss Owen Coyle after a string of poor performances this season.
Saturday's 2-0 defeat by Everton was the defender's first appearance for Wanderers since September.
However, with David Wheater suspended, Knight is determined to make the most of any chance he gets in the Bolton team.
He told the Bolton News: "I started the season maybe not as well as I should have done. The manager gave me a kick up the backside.
"I felt I deserved it at the time but my training has picked up and I felt I deserved to play against Everton.
"I'm not saying Gary (Cahill) or Wheats' had bad games. But I felt I had waited long enough. Sometimes someone else's misfortune is my gain.
"I felt I did alright to a certain extent against Everton. Wheats sending off does give me a few games and a window to show what I can do."
Knight knows that Bolton are in a relegation fight and will have to fight to survive in the top flight.
"I think we have to be realistic, we are in it. When you are not winning and you are down there, it doesn't matter whether it's the first game or 12 games in, you are in it.
"We have to find something and change something to get out of it. We have been very fortunate that when we have lost, teams around us have lost as well.
"We are still close to other teams. We've got a tough game at Tottenham but we have to find something from somewhere.
"Hopefully, it will give us some fighting spirit and we can kick on because we have a tough Christmas coming up."