James Tomkins showed West Ham United have strength in depth at centre-half by producing a fine display in Monday's 2-1 Barclays Premier League win at Queens Park Rangers.
Tomkins has found himself on the substitutes bench due to the form of James Collins and Winston Reid, so the 2012 London Olympian was delighted to feature at Loftus Road after Reid was forced off with a head injury.
A key figure in the club's promotion-winning campaign last season, Tomkins told West Ham TV he would love to be starting week-in week-out, but he is happy to wait for his chance and will be ready when called upon.
"I want to play games," said the No5. "It is important to me, but the lads have come in and done really well in the back four so obviously they haven't changed it much.
"It is frustrating to watch [the matches rather than play], but understandable if we keep getting positive results, it was just nice to come on and help win the game on Monday. It gives me confidence and the team is doing really well which is great news."
The Basildon-born defender missed a large chunk of pre-season to play for Team GB at London 2012 and admitted in hindsight it hasn't brought the benefits he had wished.
"I wanted to represent Great Britain and the manager gave me the chance to and I appreciated that but I went there expecting to play more than I did in the end. At the same time Ginge and Reidy played a lot together in pre-season.
"It was disappointing for me, but I suppose that is what football is like. You have to keep your head down and keep working hard in training which is what I have done. It paid off on Monday because I came on the pitch and did well."
Tomkins was called into action after just 23 minutes when Reid was caught by team-mate Jussi Jaaskelainen and the 23-year-old felt he settled well.
"You have to be ready at all times but coming on early as a defender it can take you a little while to get into the game. You always want to start well and try and settle down quite early.
"This was my first proper [league] game all season but I thought I settled well and that was important for the rest of the game. I thought the team played very well and it was a well-deserved three points."
Matt Jarvis and Ricardo Vaz Te gave the Hammers a comfortable lead going into half-time but a wonder goal from Adel Taarabt meant a testing end to the game for Tomkins and his defence.
"Playing at Loftus Road was difficult. It was my first experience there and it was a hard place to go. Particularly after they scored, the crowed got behind them and you could see how much it helped.
"We had a few nervy moments towards the end but that is always going to happen when a team pulls a goal back. They put a lot of pressure on us but we held out and it was nice to shoot up the table again."
Tomkins also believes that those nerves could have been avoided with a bit more luck in front of goal, whilst also giving an insight into what it is like playing against Andy Carroll in training.
"Andy had a chance right at the end and we had a few other opportunities we didn't take but as long as we are creating chances that's what matters. Hopefully we will keep putting them away, because the two finishes we did take were really impressive.
"I've marked Andy a few times in training, he's an awkward player and he is going to be a good asset for us. We also have Carlton Cole challenging him for that starting spot and they are both good players."
The Hammers face Arsenal on Saturday but Tomkins revealed he and the rest of the players are looking forward to it and will do all they can to secure a positive result.
"It will be the toughest game we have faced so far this season. So far we have played teams around where we could finish this season and we have stepped up to the challenge and done really well.
"Hopefully we can continue that against Arsenal. We are going to be positive and give it a right go. We are at home where we have got a good record and I think now we are all just looking forward to it."