VIDEO: I'm fighting fit and want to keep my place, says Boston United's Nathan Stainfield
NATHAN Stainfield insists his spell on the sidelines did him the world of good, but is now desperate to fend off competition from Boston United's new recruits.
Having been a regular in the side under former boss Jason Lee, the centre-back has been in and out of the team under Graham Drury.
However, after been recalled in the aftermath of the 7-1 thrashing at Altrincham, Stainfield has played the last three games and scooped the man-of-the-match award in Saturday's 2-2 draw with Stalybridge Celtic.
Stainfield revealed he had been playing through the pain barrier and keeping injuries secret before being left out by Drury, but used his time out of the side to return to peak fitness.
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"Personal pride was getting in the way," said Stainfield.
"I wanted to play every game and I was running around with knocks and not telling anyone.
"I've been out running in Nottingham where I live and been able to get myself a little bit more in shape.
"I'm pleased to be back in the team. Hopefully I can stay in the team and get a settled partner in the defence. I want to keep my shirt now."
Boston's central defensive options were thin on the ground under Lee, but now Stainfield and Tom Ward face tough competition from new arrivals Phil Watt and Paul Lister.
"It's good at training now because I'm not the only one kicking Newsh and Spencer (Weir-Daley)," joked Stainfield.
"It's healthy competition and it's something that was needed.
"The manager made a good point before Saturday's game. He said we've got a really strong bench now and you would be happy with any of those lads coming on."
With Watt suspended for the next two games, Stainfield is set to keep his place alongside Lister.