Sheffield United's Enda Stevens has told the Irish Sun it is his own fault he failed at Aston Villa.
Stevens has shone since signing for the Blades from Portsmouth earlier this year, playing all but one of his new side's Championship fixtures this season and helping them to third in the table - a place and two points ahead of Aston Villa.
It was at Villa Park that the 27-year-old began his career in England in 2012, after arriving from Shamrock Rovers in his native Ireland.
But after only seven first team appearances and almost as many loan spells, Stevens found himself released three years later.
Discussing his Aston Villa departure, the left-back acknowledged: "I just put it down to myself. I don’t think I worked hard enough when I was an Aston Villa player to be an Aston Villa player.
"I obviously got in for a few games. At the top level, you’ve got to be consistent but I don’t think I was. I don’t think I was ever consistent enough to warrant a place in the team.
"It just came to the sticky stage where I had two years left on my contract, obviously on good money.
"I didn’t warrant a move away, I didn’t warrant someone coming in and buying me. I had to sit there and bide my time and go out on loan.
"There is no room for error at the top because you make any type of mistake and there is someone to replace you.
"It’s an unforgiving league. I just got caught up with it. I went to Doncaster on loan and I enjoyed myself but I don’t think I was the type of player I wanted to be when I went on loan. Not until I went to Portsmouth did I find my identity."
Stevens' Sheffield United form has prompted talk of a maiden call up to the Irish national team, whose under-21 side he made three appearances for.
The Dubliner has yet to face Aston Villa in a competitive fixtures, and will get his first chance to show them what they are missing when the Blades travel to Villa Park later this month.