Six games on the bounce has left McAuley in high spirits but he is refusing to rest on his laurels and will continue to work hard to impress.
"I knew I had to patient to get in but once I got in I always backed myself to stay there," he told the Sunday Mercury.
"I have to admit it was tough at the start though.
"I'm always used to playing and not having a game on a Saturday was very strange to me. Then I got fit and was able to challenge for a position.
"I was looking to get on the bench first, and then get a chance, and that door opened. I'm glad that it has gone well and I think there is more to come if we keep on working hard.
"You have to work harder when you're in the team. It's tough getting in, but when you're in there you've got to work harder because you've got to perform well every day and have your high standards in training.
"I'm very much enjoying the experience. The aim now is to establish myself in the team and do as best as I can then hopefully I can build a good relationship with Jonas (Olsson) and the others then we can move forward and start to produce good results that will move the team up."