Georgia Stanway has admitted she was told she would likely not be starting for England at Euro 2022, before going on to be a pivotal part in the Lionesses' run to the final.
With Leah Williamson being utilised in midfield and Stanway playing in a variety of positions at club level, she initially struggled to nail down a starting spot under Sarina Wiegman.
England have reverted back to one sitting midfielder at Euro 2022, with Williamson dropping back to centre half. Stanway has made the number eight role her own, turning in a player of the match performance in her side's opening group stage victory over Austria, and netting a stunning extra time winner against Spain in the quarter finals.
"To be totally honest there was a moment when I was told I wasn't [starting]," Stanway said. "There was a moment when I was told to: keep going, keep going, try and close that gap, try and just push the players that she [Wiegman] had decided [would be starting].
"I don't really know what moment flicked it, what moment changed the situation but obviously I'm fortunate for that moment. I don't really know what changed her mind, there was no conversations as to why or what had happened, I think it was literally just down to situation."
Stanway frequently operated at right-back during the first half of the 2021/22 season as Manchester City contended with a plethora of injury problems. As players came back from the treatment room, Stanway returned for a lengthy run in central midfield - and she credited this with her excellent form at Euro 2022.
"I think at Manchester City when I was going in and out in mixed positions, although I was trying to do my best in those positions and trying to bring different aspects out of my game, I just didn't find any consistency," Stanway added.
"Whereas as soon as I was able to get in midfield probably from February time I was able to just knuckle down, work on that. The biggest thing for me is consistency. If I can just keep my game at the highest level, that's where my good run comes from."