Stephen Warnock admits times were tough for him under Gerard Houllier and hopes he will never experience such troubles again.
The full-back found himself frozen out of the Aston Villa camp when Houllier succeeded Martin O'Neill as manager last season.
Tumbling out of the picture came as a major blow to Warnock, who had been part of England's 2010 World Cup squad just a few months before falling out of favour at club level.
A frustrating 2010/11 campaign saw him make sporadic appearances, with his last outing of the season coming in a December defeat to Manchester City.
Few players were more relieved to see Alex McLeish handed the Villa reins this summer, with the Scot having welcomed Warnock back into the first-team set-up.
The 29-year-old is now determined to make up for lost time and has thanked reserve team boss Kevin MacDonald for helping to keep his spirits up during a tricky period.
"It was frustrating and I never want it to happen again," Warnock told the Birmingham Mail.
"That's why I'm so hungry to do well this season.
"It was very difficult but I was lucky to have Kevin with me when I was training with the reserves.
"He kept me on top of my game and told me to keep fit and make sure my head was right. He said 'you never know what's going to happen in football'. He was great to me and Habib Beye.
"He kept us ticking along and the young lads were great with us as well. It was good at times because I was helping to develop the young lads and passing on a bit of knowledge to them."
Having been welcomed back into the Villa fold, Warnock is keen to repay McLeish's faith with his performances on the field and hopes it will not be too long before he is producing the kind of form that saw him earn international recognition.
"I'm enjoying my football and things are going well but it's early days yet," he added.
"I have to carry on doing it for the rest of the season. The difficult thing is to maintain your form but I will be trying everything I can to continue that.
"My best form was when I was at Blackburn and when I got my move here. In my first six months at Villa, before I got injured, I was playing as well as I ever have. Hopefully I can get back to that level.
"I know I can do it if I get a run of games and keep my fitness up. That's a massive thing. If you're playing regularly, you get your confidence up and you know things will come off when you try them."