Bournemouth striker Brett Pitman paid tribute to manager Eddie Howe after his two goals helped to defeat Reading 3-0.
Callum Wilson and Yann Kermorgant have been preferred to Pitman, 26, up front for much of the Championship season.
However, with Kermorgant suspended, Pitman started against Charlton on Saturday and Reading on Tuesday and repaid Howe's faith with two goals.
"I don't think anyone has played a bigger part in my career than him (Howe)," Pitman told BBC Radio Solent.
"From when he took over, I remember his first day, he put faith in me. I scored a few goals, I repaid him and he signed me again and I repaid him again. But he's been brilliant with me and had played a massive part in my career.
"Being out of the team is tough, it's not something I've been used to when I've been here. I've had to wait my time and work hard.
"In football you have to be patient. Yann's misfortune has led to me getting a chance and hopefully I've taken it."
Pitman revealed he made changes in the summer to his diet and, along with extra training, feels he is now in the best shape of his career.
"I'm in the best shape I've been," he said. "I've worked hard at my diet and in the gym and to think tonight I got my reward is pleasing. I worked hard in the summer and pre-season, I've changed my diet a little and it's paid off."
And the former Bristol City forward also admitted that fatherhood has also changed him as a player.
"If you would have said five or six years ago that I'd be stood here with two kids I would have not believed you," he added. "With two kids and more responsibility I've had to grow up. It's something I've had to do."
Pitman believes he should have had a hat-trick against the Royals but Reading keeper Adam Federici pulled off a fine save to deny him.
"You don't get many chances to score a hat-trick and with that chance the keeper has made a great save," he said. "Nine times out of 10 I would have scored. It's nice to score two but it would have been nice to take the match ball home."