Nicky Deverdics is more convinced than ever he has made the right decision to join Hartlepool United.
The 27-year-old admitted he was frustrated to be named on the bench for last Saturday’s League Two opener with Colchester United.
He got on late and performed well, but for a man who played almost every minute of last season for Dover Athletic, it was not what he was looking for.
Deverdics said in the summer that he was here to play and not just make up the numbers.
But he got his chance to impress on Tuesday in the EFL Cup at Preston North End and he duly did that.
“I was obviously disappointed not to start on Saturday,” he said.
“After all the hard work in pre-season, the big build-up, you want to play the first game.
“Everyone wants to play, it’s only natural, but it wasn’t to be.
“But I got a start at Preston and hopefully I can stay in the team from now on, but that’s not my decision!
“It’s a long season, I’ve signed a two-year contract, and I’m confident in time my ability will show that I should be playing.
“When I signed it was because of the manager’s plans and what he said to me and since I’ve been at the club I know I’ve made the right decision coming to Hartlepool, especially when you see how well we played on Tuesday.”
Deverdics was pleased not only with his performance but that of the team in the heartbreaking 1-0 defeat at Deepdale.
The midfielder almost set up Toto Nsiala in the first half when the defender tried to shoot with probably his wrong foot.
And in the second he put Josh Laurent away with the midfielder shooting straight at keeper Anders Lindegaard and he then picked out Lewis Alessandra, who finished nicely, only for an offside flag to end the celebrations.
“We were unlucky,” he said.
“We really gave it a go and got stronger and looked more and more dangerous as the game went on.
“We defended well from back to front, kept our shape, and we frustrated them.
“Preston are a side with quality and if you went trying to win the game from the off, you’d get punished, so we couldn’t go for it.
“We had to be strong and resolute and we grew into the game.
“The gaffer was pleased with our first half, but said we could go and cause them problems and for us to believe in ourselves.
“We did that and it was pleasing to see - we could have nicked it.”