Nigeria international John Ogu admits he must be "patient" and wait for his chance with the Super Eagles after struggling to secure a regular place in the starting line-up.
The 30-year-old came on as a late substitute in the 3-2 away win against Libya this month, but failed to make an appearance at the World Cup in Russia.
The Israel-based midfielder believes the situation is not ideal but sympathises with manager Gernot Rohr and insists he still feels wanted by the German.
"I know it's frustrating because I want to play, but I also understand the coach has a job to do," Ogu told BBC Sport.
"We have a great squad, as a footballer I always want to fight for my country on the pitch all the time.
"But the country and team comes before an individual so I will keep working hard to get my chance," Ogu said.
His 20 caps in five years is a disappointing run for the player at international level after winning the Israeli League titles in the past three seasons.
Being overlooked has often led to local fans and media questioning the coach's decision, but the Hapoel Beer Sheva player insists he must bide his time.
"I appreciate the support but I am a realist, there is a lot of competition and some players don't get the chance to play," he added.
"I missed out on the 2014 World Cup; I was picked but didn't play in Russia, this is life.
"I am very happy to be a national team player and I must be patient."
Ogu who has previously played in Slovenia, Spain and Portugal has scored twice for his country.