Kolo Toure never lost belief in his ability after slipping down the pecking order at Manchester City, the defender has said.
The club's former captain has enjoyed a return to prominence and form in recent weeks with four successive starts in the injury-enforced absence of current skipper Vincent Kompany.
The 31-year old told the club's website, www.mcfc.co.uk: "We have so many players here and it's difficult to play every game, but you need to get ready and any time you have the chance to play give 100 per cent."
He added: "It's very important to keep focused and to keep your concentration high and keep working hard in training. That's the only thing you can do.
"It's always difficult when you don't play and are not in the team, but the only thing that can keep you going is working hard and believing in yourself - and that is what I have been doing."
The Ivory Coast international is out of contract at the end of the season and there has been speculation that his recent form could earn him a one-year extension.
Yet while his future remains uncertain, Toure is just happy to have been able to contribute again.
Toure, a £16million signing from Arsenal in 2009, said: "I feel very good at the moment. I've had the chance recently to play more and I'm really enjoying being able to give my best for my team.
"Everyone around me and all my team- mates have helped me a lot, and that's very important. Every time I have played for City, I just give 100 per cent - for me the main thing is just to work hard."