Rajiv van La Parra is ready to seize his chance after coming off the bench to score Brighton & Hove Albion’s second goal against Derby County on Saturday.
The Dutchman made his second appearance as a substitute against the Rams, coming on to replace the injured Solly March, and is now hoping to establish himself in the team.
He said, "It's very sad that Solly is injured but for me it's a good opportunity to improve myself in the team.
"It would have been really nice if it was 2-1 and I scored the winning goal but I'm happy I scored for the team.
“It was a very tough game, but we knew that beforehand. We did well and at the end we could have won, but I think we can be happy with a point.
"I didn't really see it [the decision to award Derby a late penalty] but I knew it wasn't a penalty. In the ref's opinion he touched him.
"For me and the team it feels like a missed opportunity, but we didn't lose so that's a good point."
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The winger now has one goal and one assist from his first two Albion appearances and stressed the importance of having regular game time.
“I had a tough time at Wolves and it's good for me to play well now, score goals, get assists and get my confidence back on the pitch.
"At Wolves I lost my confidence as well, because I was not playing and not part of the team. Now I'm here I try to do the best for the team and for myself as well.
"For me it's important to play games and to get better. I think I'll get my game time here, that's the most important thing now.”
Van La Parra believes Albion’s team spirit will allow them to sustain their promotion challenge and is backing Derby to push them all the way.
“Everybody here is working for the team and that is probably the difference compared to other clubs.
“If I see Brighton now and how we can play a big side like Derby, then I am confident that we can keep this up. I hope I can be a part of it.
“Derby are very good, play good football and are hard to beat. I think they will be near the top as well.”
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