NICK Fitzgerald admitted it was "hard" sitting on the bench as the Jets' season started to spiral.
Dropped after the 4-0 loss to Melbourne City on December 15, the winger came on against Perth with the Jets down 4-2, played the final three minutes in the 1-all draw with the Roar and wasn't used at all in the 4-0 defeat to Melbourne Victory
All the while, the 27-year-old tried to stay positive and ensure he was ready when the next opportunity arrived.
"It has been hard, obviously, not playing," Fitzgerald said. "I just want to add my bit to the team. If you are not playing you have to remain positive and make sure when you get a call up, you add something to the team. It's a long season and when you come in you have to make sure you do a job for the boys."
Fitzgerald was recalled to the starting line-up in the 2-1 loss to Sydney on Friday. Although disappointed with the result, he was buoyed by the performance and is adamant the Jets can turn their season around, starting with the trip to take on his former club Melbourne City on Saturday.
"We tested ourselves against the best team in the competition on the weekend," he said. "If you looked at the two sides, I don't think you would have known who was sitting first and who was sitting last.
"We have two hard games (Melbourne City and Wellington) to come and that is the way we like it. You want to test yourself against the best teams. If you can jag results against them, you can springboard off the back of it and hopefully make a push for the finals.
"It is still a possibility. We win two or three games and we are back in the six."
Fitzgerald's inclusion on the left wing coincided with the return of Abdiel Arroyo to lead the attack as caretaker coach Craig Deans reverted back to a 4-2-3-1 formation.
"Last week was a little bit chaotic to see Ernie go," Fitzgerald said. "I have been in situations before where we have lost a coach and it is a bit of a kick up the backside for everyone. Everyone needs to pick their game up and keep going forward. Deansy has come in and been great for individuals and the team. Just a bit of a fresh outlook on everything."