Emile Heskey insists he always believed he would win back his place in the England squad.
Fabio Capello selected the Wigan striker for the friendly draw against Czech Republic last month and has kept faith in the powerful forward for the opening World Cup qualifiers against Andorra and Croatia.
Heskey's international career looked to be over before former boss Steve McClaren stunned many observers by recalling him for the home Euro 2008 qualifiers against Israel and Russia.
Two impressive displays in those victories changed many people's perception of the former Liverpool forward, before he suffered a broken metatarsal just days later, forcing him back onto the sidelines.
Hang in there
But now back to full fitness and clearly part of Capello's plans, Heskey has revealed how he never considered calling time on his international career.
"I never gave up, and that was shown when I got back into the squad for the two qualifiers with Israel and Russia," he told the official FA website.
"You can never give up. You just have to hang in there and keep performing and hope that the manager comes knocking.
"And it is nice to see the manager still has faith in me and wants to put me in the squad."
As England look to make up for the disappointment of missing Euro 2008 by reaching the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Heskey can sense the determination in the dressing room.
"We are very determined," Heskey admitted.
"Obviously with us not going to the Euros, I think the tournament missed England a little bit, not just the team but more so the fans - they're brilliant when they travel.
"We're very professional and we go about every game the same, we want to win every game we play in.
"We just want to go out there and have a good performance and get the results we deserve."