Jonny Tuffey says Warren Feeney deserves praise for the job he's doing at Linfield and he's determined to take the Danske Bank Premiership title race right to the wire.
Crusaders hold a healthy six-point advantage with only seven games remaining, but the Blues have no intention of raising the white flag yet.
Linfield visit basement boys Institute this afternoon and Tuffey is relieved to be the first name on the Blues teamsheet again after losing his place to Ross Glendinning for three and a half months.
The road back to the selection has at times been a frustrating one for the eight-times capped Northern Ireland international, but the stakes couldn't be higher as he returns to the spotlight.
"A club the size of Linfield has high expectation levels and success is demanded, but I feel that Warren has adapted very well to the game here," said former Partick Thistle stopper Tuffey.
"He deserves credit for the way he has adapted to a league he hasn't worked in before and the boys did go on a phenomenal run which leaves us still in the title race. Warren is a new manager and this is a new set up for him, but he is building his own squad and that takes time.
"We will give it everything to try to win the league with seven games remaining.
"Obviously our target is to win those seven games and hopefully be crowned champions.
"Crusaders are in the driving seat, but we have players of outstanding ability who have won numerous medals and we know what it takes to win silverware."
Tuffey worked hard and kept the faith while his good pal and comrade Glendinning was the number one choice.
"I am experienced and professional enough to know these things can happen," said Tuffey whose long absence from the line-up commenced after the County Antrim Shield defeat to Crusaders at the end of October.
"Sulking about it would achieve nothing so I worked as hard as I can remember in my career to get back in contention and to be fair to Ross he has been in outstanding form.
"But it was fantastic to return to the side against Warrenpoint Town, get the win and clean sheet."
Today's Danske Bank Premiership fixtures (3pm): Ballymena United v Crusaders; Cliftonville v Glenavon; Institute v Linfield; Portadown v Dungannon Swifts; Warrenpoint Town v Coleraine.