Sean Longstaff has been asked by the club's official programme about his first-team omission earlier this year.
The Geordie midfielder was dropped after the 1-0 defeat at Sheffield United on a night when Steve Bruce asked him to play as one of "two false 10s".
Longstaff didn't play again until the March 3-0 defeat at Brighton & Hove Albion but has started the last handful of games.
Longstaff, in a club programme interview, said: "Obviously, I have my own views on it, and whether I feel it was right or wrong, (but) it doesn’t really matter. I don’t make the final decision on it.
"All you can do is keep yourself ready.
"I know that in the two months between starts, I trained really well – probably the best I've trained in the last two years, I would say.
"I know it could have gone one of two ways; either me sort of sack it off – which isn’t the type of person I am, the way I’ve been brought up, or how I do things – or focusing on myself, setting myself little targets every day, and ultimately training to the best of my ability, forcing them to give me a chance."
Longstaff burst on to the scene in 2018/19 but admits that after getting rave reviews from pundits, he tried too hard to maintain the expectation levels.
Bruce added: "I probably got caught up in a bit of trying to please everyone in a way, whether that was people’s expectations of us and me thinking ‘yeah, I do need to try this, or try that, in this situation’, where, in reality, you don’t.
"Last season was tough with injuries and stuff, but, this season, when I’ve played, I think I’ve gone into games and done what I’ve wanted to do."