JOHN Marquis is hoping to nail down a regular starting place after marking his return to the Millwall side with the winning goal against Aston Villa in the FA Cup.
Marquis was named in Kenny Jackett's starting line-up for the first time in over a year for the visit of the Premier League side to The Den, and secured a 2-1 victory with an 89th-minute header.
He said afterwards: "It's been a long time since I've started a game so to score the winning goal and get through to the next round is a really good feeling.
"Shay Given got a finger to my first header, but the ball sat up nicely for me to get a good contact on it and put it into an empty net. The rest is history.
"I had a couple of operations in 2012 and it's hard being injured while the boys are doing well. But I always knew if I could get back fit, I'd fancy myself to be in contention.
"I got my chance on Friday and I hope I can go from here now. I'm not going to rest on my laurels. I want to keep scoring and driving the team forward."
Marquis believed his late winner was just reward for the Lions' performance against Paul Lambert's men – and the striker was quick to praise the influence of the 15,007-crowd.
He said: "The fans were fantastic. I can't say it enough. They really drove us on. We would have been a little disappointed with a replay because the win was thoroughly deserved.
"Villa got knocked out of the Capital One Cup last week and they have not been playing well in the league either. We knew we would get a big crowd down here and they played their part.
"There were spells in the second-half when Villa had the ball but the fans were driving us and the boys kept going. I think we deserved the win and it saves us having a replay."
Prior to kick-off, Marquis was given a one-to-one pep talk by captain Danny Shittu and the frontman praised the defender's leadership skills.
"Danny was very straight with me and told me what he expected," Marquis said. "He told me to hold the ball up and bring others into play to give us a platform to build from. That's how I play.
"I think I did that and it was a good base for us. They played three at the back and I think myself and Andy Keogh worked really hard to force them into mistakes.
"Danny is a fantastic captain. He's a big presence physically and in the changing room. He has been around for a long time, he's played a lot of games and he knows what he's on about."