Lyon striker Fred admits he has learned a lot from his lengthy struggle to overcome injury.
The Brazilian striker missed a large chunk of the tail end of 2006 due to a thigh injury and struggled to cope with life on the sidelines at Stade Gerland.
However, Fred struck a superb goal to earn the Ligue 1 champions their first league win of 2007 against Lorient on Saturday to continue his comeback.
The former Cruzeiro hot-shot has now explained how his fitness problems - coupled with Milan Baros's arrival in January - left him feeling low, but that he grew in stature as a result.
"During the last L1 game against Lorient I really felt fine and that the team were improving," said Fred in L'Equipe.
"It is additional trust. Before that match I was not very confident about myself and the average results we have had since January.
"It was the first time I have experienced such a long injury and I could not believe it would be so hard to remain alongside the group.
"Whatever people say, you are forgotten, apart from the team. Then came the winter transfer window and a new forward. I must admit all that annoyed me.
"I have learned a lot in three months - I have enriched and hardened myself. You learn a lot more through hardship."
Lyon face a key week in their season as they visit Ligue 1 high-flyers Lille on Friday before travelling to Italy to take on Roma in the UEFA Champions League last 16.
Right-back Francois Clerc believes the recent win over Lorient has given Les Gones the perfect confidence boost following a poor run of form.
"Our victory over Lorient has helped us to get back on track and to go on a good basis," said Clerc. "This success allows us to stop doubting. We reacted well and are more calm and composed.
"The season isn't always nice weather - sometimes there are downpours. But what doesn't kill you makes you stronger."