West Bromwich Albion defender Semi Ajayi has told the Express & Star that he is aiming to nail down a starting spot after scoring the match winner against Peterborough United.
The 27-year-old found himself on the bench for Albion’s first four league games of the season and has had to wait patiently for his chance to show Valerien Ismael what he can do.
It has been a strange situation for the player to be in given that he was regular in the side under both Slaven Bilic and Sam Allardyce prior to Ismael’s arrival at the Hawthorns.
Now the centre back has spoken out about his current situation, as he made the following admission when being interviewed about his playing time recently:
“I had to get my head around not being in the team.
“Then it was a case of working as hard as I possibly could to be ready when I did get my opportunity.
“I looked within and made sure I was the best possible version of myself so that when I was called upon I could give my best.
“Now it’s all about showing what I am capable of.”
Quiz: Have West Brom won or lost more against each of these 25 English teams?
The former Rotherham United defender has been a mainstay for the Baggies ever since arriving from the Yorkshire side and now has 83 appearances to his name for the Midlands outfit.
His dramatic winner against the Posh recently also took his goal tally for the club to nine.
It is a tough situation that Ajayi finds himself in but he has to remember that this is a new manager and sometimes you have to prove yourself all over again when a new man comes in at the helm.
Every player has a clean slate under Ismael and that therefore means that anyone can lose their place in the team as he looks to keep standards high.
Ajayi has been key in the past for the Baggies and if he continues to bide his time and take his opportunities, he will be again.
There are plenty of games still to come this season and there is no doubt that he will find himself back into the starting eleven at some point soon.