West Ham defender Guy Demel has told the club's official website that he accepts his role in the team having rarely featured this season.
The 33-year-old started his career in France with Nimes, before being signed by Arsenal in 2000 - though having not played at all for the Gunners, he headed to Germany with Borussia Dortmund and eventually Hamburg, where he made his name.
A free agent in 2011 after leaving Hamburg, the Ivorian right back signed for West Ham, and has proven to be a dependable player during his four years with the club, featuring heavily in the last two seasons.
Unfortunately for Demel, West Ham brought in Carl Jenkinson on loan from Arsenal last summer, and he has held down the right back spot for the entire season, putting in superb performances.
That has left Demel on the fringes of the West Ham team, making just eight appearances in all competitions under Sam Allardyce this season.
Speaking to the West Ham official website, Demel acknowledged that competition for places at Upton Park is fierce, and says Allardyce is honest with him about his role in the team.
"You have to be patient, this is how football is," he said. "Obviously I would rather be playing but you have to deal with it. It’s the gaffer’s decision and you have to respect that. All you can do is work hard in training."
"Even if you’re not playing you still have an important role. The manager is very clear and honest about everybody’s role at the club so that helps you to focus and keep motivated."
"You have to realistic, we have a squad of about 27 players and only 11 can play so there are a lot of players in a similar situation," Demel added.
Demel's contract at West Ham is set to expire this season, and with a potential change of management on the cards, it's unclear whether his future lies at Upton Park.
With little football played this season, Demel may prefer to seek first-team football in the final years of his career rather than sit on the bench for West Ham - but most Hammers fans would understand that and appreciate the service Demel has given to the club in recent years.