Ross Graham has had to bide his time for a run in the Dundee United team.
The towering defender spent most of the first half of the season as back up to Declan Gallagher and Kevin Holt, who chalked up seven clean sheets from their first 11 Scottish Championship outings.
After Gallagher picked up an injury at the start of the year, Graham was given his chance.
He and the rest of the United defence were given the run-around in their next match by George Oakley as the Morton striker netted a hat-trick at Tannadice.
But they have responded with two clean sheets versus Inverness and Dunfermline.
Now Graham wants to give manager Jim Goodwin, who has been impressed by his performances, a selection headache when Gallagher is fit enough to return.
“You just have to be patient, which I think I have been,” said Graham.
“You just have to keep working hard behind the scenes and wait for that opportunity to come around.
“You never know when it might come, if there is an injury during the game or during the week.
“You have to make sure you are ready for the Saturday whenever called upon.
“I think anyone is happy when they get a run-out. I am just taking each game as it comes and trying to put in good performances.
“Our main objective as a back four and as a team collectively is to try to get clean sheets as much as we can.
“That sets good foundations to go and try to win games.
“I think when you look at the squad we have now, there is a lot of strength in depth.
“With that you know you need to be at it every game you play.
“You have to produce good performances and make sure you keep hold of that jersey.”
Dundee United are still chasing another central defender to provide cover for their Championship title push.
A right-sided centre-back is on their shopping list, with the left-footed Graham currently deputising on the right side of the central defensive pairing.
The 22-year-old looks set to retain his place for United’s trip to Ayr on Saturday – and he isn’t fazed by the challenge of playing on his weaker side.
“I am enjoying it and it is something new for me,” he said.
“I am just taking it game by game, hopefully getting better and more comfortable in that position.
“But at the end of the day I am just happy to be on the pitch.”