Charlie Taylor’s patience paid off as he made his Premier League debut on Tuesday night.
The summer signing from Leeds had yet to play a minute in the top flight, but was called upon when ever present Stephen Ward suffered a knee problem before half-time.
Taylor came on and helped keep a clean sheet in the 1-0 win over Stoke City, and he admitted: “It's been a long wait. I was happy to get on.
“But I'm not the only one that's had to wait for their chance. The back four we finished with, haven't played a lot of football, so it’s to our credit that we kept a clean sheet.”
Taylor admits it has been a frustrating time, eased by good man-management from Sean Dyche, who ensures all the squad feel part of the picture when not all playing regularly: “You can only pick 11 at a time, but training's good fun, it keeps everyone on their toes. It's hard but what you need and you reap the benefits when you step in when needed. No one has looked out of shape.
“He's an excellent man manager and that helps, not just the gaffer but the backrooms staff. Everyone keeps on their toes, it keeps you going really. It’s easy to let your head get down but everyone's in high spirits.
“It is very hard at time, you've just got to keep on going. There's a lot of pros that set good examples here, so it’s been good to follow what they've done.
“It's the best dressing room I've been in, in such high spirits and so tight as a group of lads. It makes coming in every day, where I wasn't playing, still enjoying it because there's such a good mood.
“Family, friends, management, the gaffer, they just keep encouraging you and you've got to keep on going.
“It's part and parcel of football.
“Every professional footballer all they want to do is play. It is tough but at the same time it's about taking your chance when it finally arrives.
“Just come in, train the best you can and try and impress. Keep doing what you can when you can.”
Taylor could have little complaint given the form of Ward and the team in general, and he added: “It's frustrating but I can't really complain. The team's done well, Wardy's done brilliant, and it was just about waiting and taking my chance.
“I was slightly nervous, I hadn’t played in a while, Premier League debut, there were a few nerves, conditions weren't great, but you've got to settle in.
“I don't know the extent of Wardy's injury but if I'm picked for Saturday it's about trying to keep your spot.”