MAGAYE Gueye reckons he has benefited from some tough love – and now feels ready to make a bigger contribution to Millwall's season.
Gueye, a summer signing from Everton, went weeks without featuring for the Lions after being ordered to improve his fitness by manager Ian Holloway in October.
At the time, Gueye said that he would only get up to speed by playing games because "you can't find your level just by clicking your fingers."
But the 24-year-old has edged his way back into contention since then and made a string of impressive substitute appearances before starting against Brighton on Friday.
And Gueye feels being kept at arm’s length for a period was exactly what he needed.
"It was normal," he said. "I didn't have a pre-season so I wasn't 100 percent fit. I needed a bit of time to get better. I think the manager did a good thing.
"He wanted me to do well and to do well is to train hard, improve and push yourself every day. That's what I did.
"The manager believes in me and it's good for me to have him behind me. I'm working hard every day to help the team.
"When you haven't played for a long time or you've been injured your head can be down and you lose a bit of confidence.
"But I'm getting back to where I was when I moved to Everton.
"At the end of the day, it's all about the team. If the team plays well and we're confident, everyone will play well individually.
"I don't worry about if I am starting or not. It doesn't matter. I'd play goalkeeper if I was asked to. I will do my best whatever happens."