Norwich City winger Anthony Pilkington believes early disappointments in his career have helped make him a better player.
The 23-year-old was released by both Manchester United and Blackburn Rovers as a junior, and found himself at the lower-levels of the footballing ladder whilst plying his trade with Atherton Collieries in the non-league.
However, moves to Stockport then Huddersfield helped propel the player back into the Football League limelight, and Canaries boss Paul Lambert brought the player to Carrow Road for an undisclosed fee this summer, completing a long journey to the top flight.
"I like to think I've worked really hard to get here. Now I've got the chance to play in the Premier League and I'm going to take it with both hands," he said after scoring in the 2-1 win over Bolton this weekend.
"I was on Manchester United's books when I was 12 or 13, then I went to Blackburn and got released from there too. I was prepared to drop right down the basement and climb up the pyramid again. It's paying off now and hopefully it can continue.
"It was all part of my process of learning the game. As low down as it was, it's helped me."
Another summer signing, Bradley Johnson, grabbed the second for Norwich in a vital win against ten-man Bolton at the Reebok, and it was a result that has helped make the East Anglian side look much more comfortable in the table after a tricky start to the season.
It was a win that Pilkington felt had been coming, and the player was delighted that the side finally got a result to match their impressive performances. He was also happy to notch his first goal of the season, even if it wasn't the prettiest he's ever scored.
“The boys and management are delighted, and I’m sure the fans are going back down the road today delighted. It’s a massive win for us, especially away from home, but it had been coming. We have just got to build on this next week and keep putting points in the board," he continued post-match.
“I think it’s been coming. We have been playing really good football in the matches and we’ve been a bit unlucky. But we have earned the bit of luck with the way we have played in the previous matches and the way we have played today, so we’re absolutely delighted with the three points and hopefully that will be the start of many more.”
On his goal, Pilkington added: “Any manager will tell you you’ve just got to be a handful around the goalkeeper and stop him saving the ball, and luckily that’s what I’ve done and it’s gone in the back of the net. That’s just my job, to be a handful in there and it worked.”