Nedum Onuoha is delighted with the fresh chance he has received by Manchester City boss Sven Goran Eriksson.
"I was lucky in a sense that the manager wanted to try something different before Christmas and once I was in there he is the kind of manager who says that if you play well then you keep the shirt," Onuoha told the Manchester Evening News.
"I have had to take every game as it comes and just tried to do my best and hope it's enough. Fitness has not been an issue for me this season in terms of injuries or being ready to play. I have had one knock and we don't have many days off - I think only ten or so since the start of the season - so we are all pretty fit.
"It has not been that frustrating this season because I realise that we have far more depth in our squad this season.
"It is hard enough to get into the 16 never mind the starting XI.
"I can't complain because I think everyone has benefited from the new regime.
"There is certainly more of a winning mentality about the club now than the past. In previous seasons we might have been happy just not to lose but now we are disappointed if we don't win, as was the case at West Ham on Saturday.
"There is a real togetherness about the squad which is great because we all know that it is not just about 11 players.
"Others can come in and out of the side from one week to the next and change games.
"My attitude now is just to hold the shirt. I never lost patience this season or before when injuries struck.
"I have more than 50 appearances for the club but they have been stretched over three seasons so you just know that patience has to be natural.
"We have not been this high in the league for so long since I broke through here so we are all learning all the time."