Michael Dawson admits he could have left Tottenham Hotspur last summer, but he was determined to prove his worth.
With Andre Villas-Boas inheriting the managerial hot-seat at White Hart Lane, Dawson was deemed surplus to requirements - despite being appointed club captain.
An offer from Queens Park Rangers was accepted, but Dawson snubbed the opportunity to make a move across London to Loftus Road.
Instead, he knuckled down at Tottenham and has become a regular in Villas-Boas' first team plans.
Dawson said: "If I had wanted to leave, I could have gone.
"They accepted an offer for me and I chose to stay and fight for my position. I wasn't going to jump ship at the first sign of hard times.
"But the gaffer never once left me out of things. He's been great like that. Everyone's got their opinions and, hopefully, I've changed his opinion now.
"It was hard for me, but you can never doubt your own ability. You back yourself to bounce back and perform. I think I've done that.
"I've been at Tottenham for eight years this month and it's not always been easy. I've had times when I've been out of the team before and I've got back in. Now, hopefully, I can stay in for as long as possible."
Having forced his way back into contention, Dawson is now hoping to help Tottenham to a top-four finish in the Premier League and earn himself an England recall.
He added: "It would be nice if England wasn't too far away again, but I have to concentrate on Tottenham.
"I can't get carried away. A couple of months ago, I wasn't even playing for the club."