It has been a long couple of months for Scarborough Athletic defender Bailey Gooda.
The 21-year-old has been in the stands since a feisty finish to Boro's win at Workington just before Christmas resulted in a six-match suspension.
Not only has Gooda been left frustrated by the ban, but he has also been feeling bitter by the reason for it, as he categorically denies spitting at a rival player.
With that in the past though, the centre-back is keen to force his way back into the side from tomorrow's visit to Nantwich, and play his part in keeping Boro's late season momentum on track.
"Over the past few weeks I've just been counting down the days until I can play again," said Gooda.
"When last weekend's game finished I was on the phone telling people that I can play again.
"I have been training and in the changing room every week, I said to the gaffer (Steve Kittrick) that I'll be in the gym every day while I can't play football to keep my fitness levels up.
"It has been so frustrating because I was on a high going into, and playing in, that Workington game.
"I'd scored a goal and we'd won the game, so I was very hyped up when it all kicked off.
"Normally I'd be the one dragging people away and not riling things up, but there is no way that I spat at anyone.
"The linesman said otherwise though and there was no way of proving that I didn't, so me and Jamie (Forrester) got our bans and the club said that we'd just have to take them on the chin.
"Eight or nine weeks is the longest I've ever gone without playing, but I'm back now, so I'm looking to play my part once again."
No footballer likes to sit in the stands and watch the action, Gooda is one of those who kicks and heads every ball while they are sitting there holding their cup of tea.
"It is so hard because you keep thinking that if you were out there you could make an impact," he added.
"The gaffer likes to sit in the stand and watch games, which is a good way to do it because you can see a lot more of what is going right and wrong.
"I have enjoyed that part of it, you have to take something out of situations like this.
"It obviously isn't going to be easy to get back into the side because the lads have done very well while I've been suspended.
"I'll just keep doing what I'm doing and go from there. With the amount of players coming back the team selection won't be easy for the gaffer at the moment.
"I felt I was doing really well this season. I'd scored five goals, which is the most I've ever managed before.
"I'm still feeling very confident about the rest of the season and what we can achieve.
"With everybody back and fit then we look very strong going into a very important time."