Cape Town - Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Bernard Parker has explained how time spent on the bench tested his character and helped him become a better player.
The 30-year-old Bafana Bafana striker struggled to find his best form in the early stages of the season and began nine league matches on the bench. However, in the weeks leading up to the Christmas and AFCON breaks, he made the starting XI in three matches and scored twice as he regained his touch.
Parker says there were brief moments when he doubted himself, but that he found the strength to climb out of the rut he had fallen into.
"When you're on the bench you know there's something you're not doing right. Being on the bench makes you question yourself. It makes you think about what you were doing right before and what you're not doing right now," he revealed at a recent Nike event.
The Boksburg-born forward says key to his improvement in form was communicating with head coach Steve Komphela and to be ready to grab his opportunity when it arose.
"You need to have conversations with the coach to find out where you can improve, that's what I did," he explained.
"I kept motivating myself and pushing myself, and when my chance came I made sure things went my way. I still keep my focus and stay motivated. In this game there's no room for negativity.
"I can't tell how many I'll score, that depends on the game time I get, but I believe in myself and the goals will come," he added.
Chiefs will return to action against Free State Stars on Tuesday, February 7 at the FNB Stadium.
Kick off is at 19:30.