Newcastle United goalkeeper Rob Elliot says he came close to leaving the club in the off-season after struggling for opportunities.
Elliot was a back-up just several weeks ago, but an injury to Newcastle number one Tim Krul meant the Republic of Ireland international was given an opportunity by manager Steve McClaren.
The 29-year-old has been an important figure in Newcastle's rise out of the relegation zone but revealed he came close to quitting before his fortunes changed at the club.
"It is true that I probably thought my career was over here. Not in a bad way. It's just that I was not playing," he said.
"I was down the pecking order with little prospect of breaking in. So, yeah, that was the situation but it's just football. Nothing bad.
"Looking back, it did look as if I was going to leave Newcastle but thank God I didn't. This is all I have ever wanted. To stay here, to play.
"I always felt I was good enough to do that but it is just about getting that opportunity and proving it.
"I do not think I am anywhere near that just yet. You need to be playing years, like Tim Krul has done. At least three or four seasons.
"But to go from not being involved to playing every week has been a great experience."
Elliot will continue his run in goals when Newcastle host Everton on Boxing Day.