Defender John McCombe has revealed his frustration at being left out of the Port Vale team for three games.
McCombe, 26, returned to the side against Northampton on Friday and scored the final goal in a 3-0 victory.
"It was great to be back and to get a goal," he told BBC Radio Stoke. "I was disappointed to be out of the team.
"It's hard watching the lads playing while you're on the sidelines but I got a chance. I thought I did well and hopefully I can stay in the team."
Manager Micky Adams signed two new defenders, Liam Chilvers on a loan deal from Notts County and free agent Rob Kozluk on a short-term contract, last month in an attempt to solve his side's defensive problems.
Vale let in 16 goals in their first nine League Two matches of the season but have conceded just twice in four games since their arrivals.
The established pair of McCombe and full-back Adam Yates were casualties of Adams' defensive reshuffle.
"I thought I was playing alright but obviously the manager had his reasons for dropping me out of the team," said McCombe.
"The lads have been doing well since then so it's been quite hard to watch them, but it was great to be back in there and to put a performance in like we did was brilliant."
McCombe added to earlier goals from Tom Pope and Anthony Griffith to briefly put Port Vale into the play-off places, although they have now dropped to eighth in the table following Saturday's results.