Theo Vassell has impressed during the last few games for Port Vale and he played a crucial role in helping his side secure three points at Oldham Athletic on Saturday afternoon, but it hasn't been plain sailing for the defender.
Having made the move to Vale Park from Gateshead in the summer, the 21-year-old has had to be patient to break into Neil Aspin's starting line-up, but he now has five appearances to his name in all competitions.
With Vale making the long journey down to Stevenage this evening, Vassell will be hoping he is handed a starting berth once more, but he is determined to ensure that his standards don't drop as he eyes a regular slot in the defensive line.
He said: "I've had to be patient and bide my time, but my time has come and I got into the team. I then had to take my chance and put in a good performance, but that's what I've done so far and hopefully I can continue doing that.
"It isn't easy sitting on the bench and there was one game where I wasn't in the squad, so I sat in the stands watching. Despite that, I knew I couldn't get uptight about it, I just had to be positive and keep working hard in training to make sure my chance would come eventually.
"Now I'm playing it's more comfortable, but I can't take my foot off the gas and I know I have to keep working hard to improve. It's important to learn things from the more experienced players and continue getting better in my individual performance.
"Every player is fighting for a place and only 11 can play, so it's up to me to keep doing what I've been doing to give my all in games and in training."
The victory against Oldham was Vale's second away win of the season, and having been at the club for a few months now, Vassell is backing his teammates to push up the table in Sky Bet League Two.
Although he knows Stevenage will not be an easy place to go and get a result, he is confident that Vale can travel back to Burslem with another set of three points.
The defender has also admitted that he is willing to take up any role in the team as long as he is playing, and he has also revealed that Neil Aspin was a major factor when deciding to sign for the Valiants prior to the season starting.
"Of course we have to go into the game feeling confident and I believe we can win it to build on the performance at Oldham," he said.
"My primary position is at centre-back, but I don't mind where I am on the pitch. I just play the game and get through it to do my job no matter where I feature, whether that is left-back, left wing, on the right or centre-back - I just go out there and do it.
"Aspin was my gaffer at Gateshead and he was a defender himself which helps because he tells me things I can improve on. It does have a good affect on me.
"Him being here made the decision to join a lot easier because I had worked with him before and I enjoyed that. That made me want to do that again here."