Regan Griffiths says he never stopped believing he is good enough for Crewe Alexandra.
The homegrown midfielder made just three sub appearances in League Two before the turn of the year, and there was talk of him leaving on loan.
But the 22-year-old says he never doubted he could regain a starting place, and he earned it for the visit of Tranmere Rovers on January 1.
Now Griffiths is hoping that his super display in a 1-0 victory will be enough to keep his spot for the visit of AFC Wimbledon this weekend (Saturday, 3pm).
He said: “In football you will have spells of not being in the team, but you have to stay positive.
“I’ve always believed that I’m good enough to play in this team. At times it got hard to keep going, but I just trained harder and knew I would eventually get a chance.
“It was good to get back in the team, and getting the win was the most important thing. I stood up to the battle alongside my teammates.
“Hopefully I did enough to stay in the team. I have to show everyone, most importantly the staff, that I can be consistent with me performances.”
Griffiths, who has made 38 appearances for the club in total, says it is important that Crewe build on their victory over Rovers.
He added: “It’s always good to get a win, we needed it and the morale is high after beating Tranmere.
“It is only one result, so we need to kick on from that and now we want to do the same against Wimbledon.
“Momentum is important and we have to maintain it. There are a lot of points to be played for and we have to give the fans something to cheer about.”