O'Neill said: "Curtis Davies has come here and he has said himself this is the longest spell he has been out of the first team anywhere in his career.
"This current spell - although he may not see it like this - will give him some sort of incentive so when he gets into the team, as he will inevitably, that he is in there to stay.
"He is pushing for a place. His reserve performances have been excellent and he is improving.
"He wasn't best pleased with his performance against Leicester in the Carling Cup but that is not to be held against him forever and a day."