Crewe Alexandra defender David Artell has said he is prepared to work hard for a first-team chance after almost two months out with a hamstring injury.
Artell has been named on the substitutes' bench in each of the last three matches and has not started a first-team game since 3 September.
"It's always hard when you're not playing but it's part of being a footballer," he told BBC Radio Stoke.
"You can't sulk, you've just got to knuckle down, work hard and play well."
The former Morecambe centre-back continued: "It won't be the last time I'm not picked for a game of football, whether it's here or wherever my career takes me.
"Every single player will have been in the same boat and it's just how you handle it.
"Playing well is the bottom line. If you're not good enough to get in the side, you're not good enough to get in the side.
"I'm under no illusions that I've got to work hard and perform well to put myself back in [manager] Dario Gradi's mind. The competition is healthy."
Artell started the first eight games of the season, scoring once, with his last appearance coming in a 3-1 home win over Oxford.
Since his injury, the 30-year-old's only first-team action came as a stoppage-time substitute in the 1-0 win at Cheltenham on 25 October.