England newcomer Curtis Davies admitted he feared being frozen out at Aston Villa if there had been a repeat of his self-confessed "pub player" performance.
Davies, in Fabio Capello's preliminary squad for Wednesday's clash with Switzerland at Wembley, was angry with his performance against Leicester in the Carling Cup.
The central defender had to wait four months to break into the Barclays Premier League side and was conscious that another below-par showing could have seen him discounted by Villa boss Martin O'Neill.
"It has been a gruelling four months waiting for my opportunity but I was always confident that I could do well.
"But, if you do have a bad game, then you never know when your chance is going to come again.
"The manager spoke to me about my state of mind after what I said about being a pub player and I replied 'that's the way I deal with things' and he accepted that.
"He knows now it was the right thing for me to say because it has been a driving force that has pushed me to do so well now that I am in the team.
"I had been playing well in the reserves and then to come up against Leicester, who with no disrespect are not Manchester United, and do so poorly led to me saying 'if you don't do well against Leicester, how are you going to do play in the Premier League."'