Frustrated Frazer Richardson believes his first call-up under Neil Redfearm was a reward for never letting his head drop.
Boss Redfearn turned to the right-back played in his fifth match in charge and played him at Middlesbrough in midweek.
The defender, who put in a solid display in the 1-0 Championship defeat, said: “I’m a hard-working lad so I’ve just gone into training every day, worked as hard as I’ve ever done and seen where that’s got me.
“Luckily enough, it’s got me a start against Middlesbrough and hopefully it will now get me a few more starts.
The 33-year-old admitted he had found it tough being kept on the sidelines this term, making only two starts under Steve Evans before Redfearn preferred him to Lewis Buxton at the Riverside Stadium.
“It’s been quite a frustrating start to the season for myself,” he said. “I’ve been feeling good, I’ve been feeing fit, but sometimes you just have to wait for your chance and when that chance comes you have to take it.”
He is hoping to keep his place for Saturday’s visit of Ipswich Town, the last match before the two-week international break, but accepts there are no guarantees.
“You never know in football,” he said. “The gaffer has obviously got different ideas for different games. The lads worked hard against Boro. They put a great shift in. I thought we defended well at times, but we just lacked that cutting edge in the final third.
“But that’s something we can work on and hopefully take into the game against Ipswich on Saturday.”