Frank Lampard admits he is always desperate to play as he returned to the Chelsea starting line-up for Wednesday's 1-1 draw in Valencia in the Champions League.
Lampard had started three of the previous four matches on the bench, with his recall appearing further proof he is now being held back for the big games.
The England international looked to have scored a trademark winner that would have put the visitors in complete command of Group E, but was off the pitch when Valencia levelled.
Manager Andre Villas-Boas brought Lampard off for Salomon Kalou with seven minutes remaining, and the new man immediately conceded a penalty which Roberto Soldado converted.
Lampard told ITV1: "I always want to play, that's a given. I've been like that throughout my career. I love playing for this club. I am very proud of playing here.
"I've had knocks before in my career.....it makes me worker harder to come back.''
Of the game he added: "The second half had really opened up. Qualification games in the group stage can be slightly bland at times but this was more exciting.
"You have to find a middle ground of protecting your lead and playing attractive stuff. From our point of view it was a good performance although disappointing to lose that lead.''
In recent days Villas-Boas has declared himself fed up of answering questions about Lampard's future and tonight he was also loath to be drawn.
He told Sky Sports: "He played well - with the rest of the team. He was playing well before. Nothing to say really.''
Of the game the Portuguese was disappointed the Blues relinquished the lead when they appeared on course to claim victory and move clear at the top of the group.
He said: "It was a pity because I think we looked good to get three points. It was a very good performance from the team. I think it was more deserved for us to win this game.
"Before the game if we were offered a 1-1 draw with Valencia maybe we would have been happy. But it leaves us with a feeling we don't like.''