Newcastle United defender Ciaran Clark has struggled to break into Steve Bruce’s side so far this season.
Clark started in Newcastle’s win over Manchester United last weekend, but he has not always found game time easy to come by at St. James’ Park recently.
The Republic of Ireland international admits that he wanted answers over Bruce’s plans for him in the summer.
But when Bruce told him he wanted to keep him around, Clark decided to stay professional and work hard to win a place in Newcastle’s line-up.
“It has been hard because we have a lot of centre-halves fit now. We have not had that situation over the last couple of years,” he said.
“I had a chat with the manager towards the end of the window and he said he wanted to keep as many people here as possible to assess what he had.
“It’s about waiting for my chance and I have tried to stay positive until I got that chance. Luckily enough I got the chance and we got the clean sheet and the win.”
Newcastle’s options are arguably at their most plentiful at the back, with the club well stocked for centre-backs.
As well as Clark, Newcastle have Fabian Schar, Florian Lejeune, Federico Fernandez, Paul Dummett and Jamaal Lascelles who can all slot in in the centre of their defence.
Clark’s display against Manchester United was only his second appearance of the season, but he will be hoping to keep his place now.
With Newcastle looking good against the Red Devils, Bruce may opt to keep an unchanged side after the international break when his team return to action with a match against Chelsea.
And that would be good news for Clark, as he looks to re-establish himself as part of Newcastle’s team.