Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone has revealed that he came close to leaving the club in January after dropping down the pecking order.
The 27-year-old struggled to get a game before the turn of the year because Costel Pantilimon was standing in his way.
However, manager Sam Allardyce opted to give Mannone a chance after Pantilimon was sold to Watford in January.
"We had a chat when I was not playing and he said I was the number one," Mannone told The Shields Gazette. "He trusted me.
"I'm happy that happened and I didn't leave the club, because I was probably nearly leaving. Now I'm here, I want to work hard to keep my shirt."
Mannone has now resumed his role at first-choice keeper.