Middlesbrough's Wheater: I don't need rest, gaffer
However, his form was such that he was in the side on merit until Southgate decided the time was right to give him a well-earned breather and restore Chris Riggott.
But now that he has won back his place, the Redcar-born youngster is determined to hang on to it.
He told the club's official website: "I was sad to be out of the team, but on the other hand, I did need a rest.
"I had not played nine games in that short space of time in my life before, so it was good to have a nice rest.
"Hopefully I can stay in the team now."