Robert Earnshaw insists that he is a better player now than he was at the start of the season.
The Derby striker feels that he has benefited from life in the top flight despite spending the majority of the season on the sidelines after failing to establish himself under previous manager Billy Davies, or current boss Paul Jewell.
The Welsh international has had an enviable goalscoring record at every club he has played for, but has found himself restricted to just five starts for the hapless Rams this season in their disastrous Premier League campaign.
His lack of first-team action has seen him dropped from the Welsh squad for the first time in six years, but instead of feeling downhearted Earnshaw is staying positive and feels that he is more than capable of holding down a regular spot in Jewell's plans for the Rams' remaining eight games.
"I believe I'm twice, three times a better player than I was at the start of the season because I've learned so much," he said.
"When you play against one of the best teams in Manchester United as we did on Saturday (losing 1-0) and you push them to the limit, that's a measure of where you are.
"I've been very pleased with my performances in all the games in which I've started, and I'm very glad I've not let myself down.
"But I've learned a hell of a lot, and in games such as the one against United and against Manchester City a couple of weeks ago, I've showed what I'm about.
"So I've not been disappointed with myself, and I've not left the pitch thinking 'maybe I could have done better'. I've done myself justice.
"I now need to try and play the rest of the season, to keep going and performing like I did against United and City. That's all I can do."
It remains to be seen whether Earnshaw will become a victim of the expected cull at Pride Park over the summer, and even he admits that he has no idea whether he will be lining up for the club in the Championship next season.
"No-one really knows what the manager is going to do," he said.
"It is really up to him. We'll just play our football and wait and see what happens in the summer.
"But if the players here now impress as they did against United then there's every chance we will be here."