NEWPORT County's Ryan Burge is ready to make up for lost time as he pushes the Exiles towards League Two promotion.
And the Argus can reveal that the tireless midfielder almost left the club last month due to his frustration at continually remaining on the sidelines.
The 25-year old made his first start for Justin Edinburgh's side on Saturday at Accrington after an horrendous spell which saw him on the treatment table almost from the moment he signed with the Rodney Parade outfit.
However, he certainly made the most of his chance, scoring and earning the man of the match award with a fine display.
The well-travelled midfielder, who started at Birmingham City and has since had spells in Japan, Spain, with the Glenn Hoddle academy and most recently at Port Vale, is ready to now step into a pivotal role.
Injury and illness have decimated Burge's season so far but he's anxious to make up for lost time.
"It's a great chance for me now, I want to try and get a run of games under my belt and show everyone what I can do and help the team as much as possible," he said.
"We are in and around the play-off spots and now we want to try and push on and hopefully I can do my bit.
"The players have been great to me, it's horrible being injured, you don't feel part of things really, but they were thrilled for me to get my first goal and the spirit is exceptional."
Burge and manager Justin Edinburgh had a meeting in December with Burge's future up for discussion and the much-travelled midfielder is thrilled to have opted to stay and was delighted by the chance to contribute at Accrington.
"It was enjoyable just to get out on the pitch, that alone was a good thing, I thought we played quite well, especially in the second half and showed we've got good character," he said.
"I was delighted to score, especially to score with my right foot, I've probably never had a better connection than that," (Burge is left footed).
Burge admits he is going to be kept on his toes now he's earned a start with the likes of Adam Chapman, Mike Flynn, Lee Minshull, Max Porter, David Pipe, Tom Naylor and Robbie Willmott all viable options in the centre of the park.
"The competition is great and that's what you need, you need good competition for each other to sustain a promotion push and it's a squad packed with ability, that's clear," he said.
"In the second half of the season we hope we can continue the good work the boys have done.
"No one likes sitting on the bench, of course."