Cyrus Christie has admitted to the Derby Telegraph that he was angry with Paul Clement after the 43-year-old dropped him from the starting line-up at the start of the season.
The 22-year-old was a virtual mainstay for the Rams during the 2014/15 campaign, but he lost his place to Chris Baird over the summer.
It was a decision which Christie admits he found difficult to deal with, and says this has been a very frustrating period of his career.
"I've had to be patient - and it has been tough on me," he said. The gaffer has come in and Chris Baird is the man that he's gone to [at right-back]. When it came to the first game of the season and I wasn't on the team sheet, I was surprised and I was angry.
"At times, it has been hard, I can't lie about that. My head has been all over the place. I was getting very frustrated."
With Baird currently out injured, Christie has come back into Derby's starting line-up and played in the 0-0 draw with Burnley on Monday night.
The Republic of Ireland international got forward with aplomb and generally looked assured at the back throughout, showing to Clement the qualities which made him such a vital part of Steve McClaren's team.
And Christie is hoping that his display against the Clarets will keep him in starting contention for the future, as he looks to re-establish his place in the team.
"I want to keep the shirt," he said. "My confidence is coming back with each game and I think I'm doing well.
"I think I laid down a marker against Burnley.
"The manager has put his faith in me to go out and play and I've had to prove myself to him and the fans that I can do it. I think I've done that."
Derby's draw against Burnley lifted them into 11th position in the Championship table, six points behind the automatic promotion places, where they will be aiming to be at the end of the season.