Yeovil Town defender Luke Ayling has accepted he deserved to be dropped this week and is now focused on rediscovering his best form.
The right back who signed a new two-year deal at Huish Park in the summer was only a substitute at Leyton Orient, with Dominic Blizzard moving from midfield to the back four in his place.
Ayling had to be content with 28 minutes at the Matchroom Stadium but said he was determined to regain his place to face Sheffield United on Saturday, admitting his performances against AFC Bournemouth and MK Dons were not good enough.
The 21-year-old said: “I have been a bit off. After the Bournemouth and MK Dons games I was really upset with myself, personally, and then of course I sat out the game on Tuesday. I came on and felt good in the game so hopefully I will start again and try and get my form back.
“It is the first time I have had two bad games in a row and it is quite hard to take because I am not used to it. But hopefully I can get back to good form.
“I just didn’t know what it was. I just found it hard to keep the ball and I knew in myself that I have had a bad game, which is the hardest thing to take, coming off the pitch and knowing you have had a bad game.
“The manager was right not to play me on Tuesday. I took it and hopefully I will be back in the team soon. It shows that you can just be dropped and he isn’t scared to drop anyone. It has been good for the boys to keep them on the toes.”
Despite his young age, Ayling is currently the Glovers’ longest serving player, after making a loan deal from childhood club Arsenal permanent in the summer of July 2010.
He joins captain Jamie McAllister in a group of players fighting for a place to face the Blades, with the Scot available again having served a three-game ban for a red card against Bristol Rovers.
Ayling said: “Jamie will be massive for us. Nathan Ralph has come in and played really well and hasn’t done his chances of starting any problems.
“But it will be good to have our captain back. He is a leader on and off the pitch, he is experienced and it will be good for our back for to have him back.
“We have been on a bad run so hopefully we can start quickly and get the crowd back on our side and hopefully kick on in the game. They (United) are there for the taking if we play our fast game.”
Ayling added spirit was still good in the Yeovil camp despite three losses on the trot, but insisted the squad were well-aware they needed to work hard to reverse fortunes.
“It is two weeks now since our last home game,” he said. “That was against Bournemouth, which was poor for all of us so hopefully we can come out and show our form that we showed in the first four games and in pre-season.
“It is still bright, we are still in the top half of the league and it is still only three points to the top four so we can win on Saturday and go straight back.
“We have been working hard on the training ground because we can’t lose three on the bounce and everything be happy. It is still positive and we want to put it right on Saturday.”