Beram Kayal has hailed his fellow Brighton & Hove Albion midfielders as 'amazing' and empthaised the importance of their competitive sqaud.
The Israeli, who signed a new two-and-a-half-year contract in November, is well and truly on the comeback trail after suffering an ankle injury in September, which has led to a stop-start campaign for last year's player of the season.
The former Celtic player limped out of Albion's 2-0 home win to Barnsley last year and completed his long-awaited comeback on Tuesday night as he made just his second start in five months in the 2-0 victory over Rotherham.
Kayal, 28, admits has has been 'hurting' being on the sidelines with the seventh serious injury of his career, but is relishing being back for the promotion run-in in the Championship.
He said: "When I was injured it was hurting me as I wasn't going to help my mates every week with the experience I had and with everything that I tried to give to the team.
"The players playing in the midfield area do an unbelievable job for us. They have done amazing, every game they do the job for the team and that is the reason we are here; in second place in the Championship, fighting to go up."
And while the midfielder has said he wants to regain his firm starting place in the team, he's happy for the competition in the squad.
"It shows you this team is not one player," he added. "It's a squad and a big, big squad ready to come in any time and help the team.
"Of course, from my point of view I want to play every game and every minute, but I can tell you it doesn't work like that.
"From a long, long injury of four months out I need to come back into my physical work, training hard every day and when you have the rhythm for the game sometimes it is easy, but because of the position we are in the table and what we are working for, sometimes it is hard.
"This is the reason we have a big squad and everyone is ready to go. It doesn't matter who is going to be in the first XI, everybody is ready to try and bring the points for us and we are going to continue to do that."