McAuley has gone from being a frustrated figure on the sidelines to being back in favour with a fine return to Premier League action for the first time in seven months.
"It's nice to be back out there, there's no denying it or hiding it," he told the Birmingham Mail following Saturday's 0-0 draw at Hull.
"It's been frustrating and most of the frustration has been with myself for getting injured when a new manager came in and not being able to have a good pre-season.
"Obviously the lads have been doing well so I wasn't really getting a sniff.
"It's unfortunate but it's Catch 22 really because I want the team to do well but a run of bad results have opened up an opportunity for me.
"I'm happy to be out there but at the same time I would have preferred good results for the players and the coaches."