Jacques Maghoma has conceded that being dropped by Sheffield Wednesday was the “kick up the backside” he deserved and needed.
The DR Congo international, out of contract at the end of the season, was overlooked for five Championship fixtures after the Owls’ goalless draw at Huddersfield Town on November 22.
Maghoma said he had a “positive” heart-to-heart chat with Wednesday head coach Stuart Gray regarding his omission.
Determined to prove a point, the talented forward knuckled down in training and ultimately earned himself a first-team recall at Wigan Athletic last month.
Maghoma has now started the last three matches and is expected to keep his place in the side for the Hillsborough meeting with Bolton Wanderers on Saturday.
The 27-year-old, a first-team regular at the beginning of the season, told The Star: “I had a conversation with the manager. What was said will stay between us, but we had a positive chat.
“The gaffer is a really nice guy to speak to. You can speak to him about anything. I think he understands me and I understand him. We get on well and he is there to help me.
“If I’m not playing at my best, he will tell me which is important. He gave me a kick up the backside.
“I knew myself I was maybe not playing to the best of my ability. These things happen at times when you play a lot of games and you maybe drop form and tiredness kicks in. I had to look at myself and I worked hard in training to get back to my best.”
Maghoma, who has played 23 times this season, reckons he has still got more in his locker.
“There is a lot more to come from me,” he said. “I had a couple of chances against Nottingham Forest. Some days they go in for you and sometimes they don’t. The most important thing is I keep performing well and help the team.”
Wednesday’s development squad slipped to a 2-1 defeat Forest yesterday, despite taking a first-half lead through Caolan Lavery.
Coach Lee Bullen said: “We should have been out of sight at half-time. There was a lot of good stuff but we got punished for a little bit of slackness and not taking our chances.
“We took our eye off the ball and they capitalised.
“But I can’t be too harsh on the boys. We are disappointed we lost but we have been on a good run so we have just got to learn from it.”
Ex-Owls chief Dave Jones is believed to be in the frame for the vacant managerial position at Charlton Athletic. The 58-year-old has been out of work since he was sacked by Wednesday in December 2013.