David Buchanan says he always had the confidence in his own ability to force a way back into Preston North End’s defence.
The left-back has started the last seven matches and really shone in the victories over Colchester and Port Vale.
Until being handed a chance in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy win over Shrewsbury at the start of September, Buchanan had not featured in a matchday squad all season.
But the 28-year-old knew it was just a case of biding his time, having been assured by PNE boss Simon Grayson that his chance would come.
Buchanan told the Evening Post: “I sat down with the manager and he was honest with me.
“He told me that he wanted me around the club and I would get my chance at some stage.
“I worked hard. That chance did come and I like to think that I have done well and taken that chance. I’m making the position my own at the moment, which is all I can do.
“I’m an experienced player who has played a lot of matches and I want to do my best for the club.
“This is my third season here. I love playing for Preston – it is a top club and that is the reason why I signed.
“The stadium and training facilities are fantastic and the people who work at the club are great.
“Footballers are privileged because playing the game for a living is the best job in the world.
“One of our strengths here is the togetherness of the squad, with us all getting along both on and off the pitch.
“Whoever has got the shirt is encouraged to do well by those not in the team. There is no back-stabbing or anything like that, we all just want to be winning games in whatever competition we play in.”
For the first few weeks of the season, Buchanan had to watch from the sidelines as first Ben Davies and then Scott Laird got the nod at left-back.
It was such competition which spurred Buchanan on and will continue to do so.
“I’ve always thought that good competition is what it is all about,” said the former Bury and Tranmere man.
“If you have a couple of good players in every position it is healthy, it makes you compete in training.
“It pushes you to make sure you don’t lapse once you are in the team – you have to do things right otherwise your place will go to someone else.”
The Preston squad were training today before having the weekend off, their scheduled visit to Swindon having been postponed due to international call-ups.
Buchanan admits he would rather be playing than putting his feet up.
He said: “You could say it is a chance to have a rest but when you are on a run like we are, you want to play.
“Last time we had a break we ended up getting beaten at Walsall, which was due to an accumulation of things.
“When we return to playing, we have to make sure that we carry on where we left off.”
Meanwhile, prices have been reduced for PNE’s visit to Gilligham on October 21.
Adult tickets are now £15 instead of £17, while Under-12s will be admitted free with a full paying adult.