Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho is determined to break back into the Anfield first team in order to seal a place in the France team for the World Cup.
The centre-back has been out of action since the turn of the year due to a hamstring injury, but returned to Liverpool's bench in Sunday's 3-0 win at Old Trafford.
The experienced pair of Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel have played in each of the Anfield club's last four games, while Brendan Rodgers also has Kolo Toure to call upon.
But Sakho, who had featured in 12 of Liverpool's 16 league games before his injury, remains confident he will seize the opportunity to shine.
"I feel good now and I was delighted to be on the bench for the United game," Sakho told The Liverpool Echo.
"Two and a half months is a long time to be out and it was tough. It took much longer than we thought but I had to listen to my body.
"Initially we thought it was the muscle in my hamstring but it turned out to be the tendon which was causing the problem and that took more time to heal. I worked really closely with the medical staff to get back.
"It will be difficult to get back in the team because everyone is playing well, but at a big club like Liverpool you expect competition for places.
"Things are never easy in football. I am working hard and I am ready for when the manager needs me.
"There are still nine games to play and a lot to play for. I also need to win my place in the France squad for the World Cup."