Micah Richards is aiming to claim a permanent role in Fabio Capello's plans after ending his England exile in the midweek friendly against France at Wembley.
Under-21 skipper Micah came off the bench at half-time for his first senior appearance since the 3-2 home defeat by Croatia in November 2007 that was Stevee McClaren's last game in charge.
Richards admitted: "It's been a long time coming, so it was great to be back out there. I was actually a bit disappointed not to start, because Phil Jagielka isn't a natural right back - I think the boss was experimenting.
"But I thought I did well when I came on, and I can build on that performance, so I'm happy. There have been times when I was thinking 'what have I got to do to get back in?'
"But I think I've been doing well - I started the season well, and I'm grateful the manager had faith in me to give me 45 minutes.
Now I've got my foot in the door again I want to be in the next squad, and the next
Former Blues boss Stuart Pearce has consistently championed the 22-year-old but Capello has played it cool. Micah added: "He didn't tell me before the game he was going to bring me on at some stage.
"I think he still sees me as a young lad - and I suppose I am a young lad, but because I've played so many games I think of myself as being older!
"I am still learning and I'll keep working extremely hard in training. That's paying off now with my England call-up, and the next thing is to get back into the team here and be playing regularly for City."
Adam Johnson came off the bench with Micah and the right-back said: "AJ did well when he came on. I know his game well and we both play down that side. I think we look a good combination - not that I'm dropping any hints!"