'It's been frustrating to come to a massive club and not show what you can do'
FOURTEEN league starts for Hull City in three years is a shameful record for Seyi Olofinjana to offer up. His words, no-one else's.
Since completing a £3m move from Stoke City in August 2009, the midfielder has struggled to even come close to justifying the fee that made him the third most expensive signing in the Tigers' history.
A long road to redemption stands before Olofinjana but, hungry to seize a fresh start offered by manager Steve Bruce, the forgotten man of the KC Stadium is determined to make up for lost faith and time.
September is not yet even out and already this season has seen Olofinjana eclipse his contributions of last term. Back-to-back league starts against Bolton and Millwall were something he had not achieved in Black and Amber since December 2009.
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A hamstring injury has threatened to interrupt his fledgling renaissance but, as a key member of Bruce's City plans, the Nigerian is keen to finally scratch a three-year itch.
"Of course it has been frustrating," said Olofinjana, ahead of his potential return to the starting XI at home to Peterborough United this afternoon.
"This is my job and I want to do it to the best of my ability.
"Anyone who knows me will tell you I've got something about me and I can do a job for the team, so it's been frustrating to come to a massive club like this and not be able to show people what you can do.
"The fans have been brilliant with me, I can't thank them enough. Even last season, they were supportive.
"It's been very shameful for myself not to have been able to give them something back. I hope to repay them as much as I can."
Olofinjana, like Jay Simpson and Joe Dudgeon, has grasped one of the clean-slates dished out by Bruce upon his arrival in June.
Although a knee injury limited Olofinjana's involvement in the opening weeks of the season, a start in the League Cup tie at Doncaster convinced Bruce that the veteran was the man to anchor an attack-minded midfield.
Impressive contributions followed in the emphatic victories over Bolton and Millwall to earn him high praise from his manager, before a hamstring injury struck a fortnight ago.
The feeling, understandably, is mutual.
"The manager has come in and been very supportive," said Olofinjana. "He's spoken to me many times.
"Straight away in Portugal, during our training camp, he said everyone would have a clean slate but that's been said so many times now.
"I thought only time will tell but if I am honest, I wasn't sure I believed him because I'd heard it before.
"But he has been very true to his word and I am grateful for the chance."
Olofinjana is not the type to criticise Bruce's predecessors. Polite and mild-mannered, he claims to have a "lot of respect" for Nick Barmby, even after his extended spell in the wilderness during the former manager's reign.
"I'm not the type of player to go to the cameras or the newspapers, I've never been like that," he said.
"If I don't play I use the right channels. The only way I can put it right is on the field of play."
Those opportunities have been few and far between since his arrival in East Yorkshire.
If a first season with the Tigers was disappointing enough, with relegation out of the Premier League capping a disjointed campaign, the following two have barely seen him kick a ball in anger for City.
As one of the club's highest earners following relegation in 2010, Olofinjana was farmed out on a season-long loan to Cardiff to ease the financial burden causing City to buckle at the knee.
A sabbatical in South Wales helped the Bluebirds to within a whisker of the Championship play-off final, but there he fatefully collected a knee injury that continues to hinder his progress.
Olofinjana is responding on and off the pitch.
Where once he would travel every day from his family home in the West Midlands, he now rents a temporary base close to City's training ground.
Gone, too, are the days where he could maraud from box to box. At least for the time being.
He said: "Naturally, when I was a little bit younger I was a midfielder who went from box to box. That was my strength.
"I still feel as though I can do that, but it's going to take a little bit of time after not playing for a year.
"Right now the shape suits me because it gives me the opportunity to come back into the side gradually without having to fly up and down the pitch. It has been wonderful to play there and do well."
Bruce appears to have a straight decision between Olofinjana and Corry Evans when he draws up his side to face struggling Peterborough.
The Nigerian was not deemed fit enough to start in the 3-1 loss at Leicester last Sunday, but a full week of training has pushed his claims for a recall.
Regardless, Peterborough, without a single point from seven league games, will not be taken lightly.
"It's going to be our hardest game yet because they will try to do everything they can to try and get a point on board," said Olofinjana.
"They are going to work ever so hard against us and we have to make sure we are ready for the challenge.
"Last week at Leicester was a bit of a wake up call for us.
"We've got young players in the team who could get complacent and that result was needed. If we don't do the right things, we will fall down."
Olofinjana, meanwhile, edges towards the culmination of a four-year deal with the Tigers.
Signed during the second profligate Premier League summer, it remains one of the most lucrative contracts ever awarded by the club.
Another like it will surely never come again but Olofinjana is not giving up hope of a fifth season.
"We take it a day at a time," he added. "I'm sure the club would not want to speak with me about a contract if I don't do well.
"It's a new me now. I have to cope with my knee and the physiology of the game, but I am enjoying myself."