Celtic striker David Fernandez fears he may never get the chance to hold down a regular first-team place under Martin O'Neill.
Fernandez fears for his Celtic future
With the five-game suspension of Chris Sutton and John Hartson sidelined through injury, there was a vacancy to partner Henrik Larsson up front.
But, with Fernandez short of full fitness, young striker Shaun Maloney was drafted into the first-team instead.
Fernandez admits that he did not help his chances by flying home to Spain to witness the birth of his second daughter, while the rest of the squad was in pre-season training.
However, Fernandez insists he does not regret the decision to return to Spain.
"It would have been a good time to have been making a claim, but I am not complaining because I'm delighted to have a baby girl," he told Celtic View.
"I will have the chance to play soon enough, but this kind of thing doesn't come around often, so I knew I had to be there."
The striker has yet to feature in a game so far this season, even though O'Neill admits lack of funds for new players means he has already been forced to make changes to his side to cope with domestic and European commitments.
While Fernandez is willing to play the waiting game until O'Neill is ready to hand him regular first-team action, he admits he sometimes doubts that will ever happen.
"Everybody wants to play and I would love to be in the team more. I just have to be patient, wait for my chance and take it with both hands," he said.
"It's easy to say, very difficult to do, because it's been a year now and sometimes I do wonder if it's going to happen for me here."