Southampton goalkeeper Artur Boruc says racial abuse he received from a section of the club's own supporters prompted him to throw a water bottle into the stand.
The incident occurred on Boruc’s home debut in the 2-1 defeat to Tottenham last October, although after an internal enquiry, no action was taken against the player or the supporters involved.
However Boruc, who did not regain his place in the first-team again until January, believes the incident acted as a convenient reason for former manager Nigel Adkins to place him on the bench.
"I won't say I regret it [throwing the bottle], because I heard insults from the stands. Racist ones," Boruc said in an interview with Polish newspaper Republic.
"I blamed myself for it because I gave Adkins the reason that he could sit me on the bench.
"I was thinking I'd get ready quickly but I had to come to terms with a different role.”
Boruc signed for the Saints on a free transfer in September after being released from previous club Fiorentina, but was out of favour with Adkins who preferred Kelvin Davis as his No.1.
The 33-year-old has since established himself as first-choice goalkeeper at St Mary’s Stadium under Mauricio Pochettino, and can now look back fondly on a challenging time.
"The situation was a bit funny. Adkins didn't see me in the team, but his bosses decided to hire a new goalie because the team played poorly.
"The coach had his vision and I was a bit angry. The games I played I didn't do too well and there was the incident with the bottle.
"But I like such challenges, and feel good when I hit the bottom, because you can start from scratch."