Michael Mancienne wants to battle for a first-team spot at Chelsea but would be happy to return to Wolverhampton Wanderers for a second season on loan if it helps with his development as a player.
Mancienne is at Molineux until the end of the current campaign and, although primarily a central defender, he has started to create a favourable impression in a holding midfield role.
He had one of his best games for Mick McCarthy's side when operating just in front of the back four and keeping Steven Gerrard quiet during the goalless home draw with Liverpool on Tuesday night.
In an ideal world Mancienne would like to compete for a place in the side at Stamford Bridge when he returns to the Blues.
But he is aware the spell at Wolves has helped him mature as a player and would have no complaints if it continued for a further loan period. Asked if there was a chance of a permanent move to Wolves, Mancienne said: "I don't think so. I am definitely going back to Chelsea. I want to try and fight for my place.
"I think I have a good chance of getting [in the team]. I've just got to keep doing what I'm doing, and keep playing well, and then I think I'll give myself a bigger opportunity of playing in that team," he said. "I am enjoying playing week in and week out. That is what I need to better myself and improve as a footballer because I can't sit on the bench and improve."
"I think I made the right decision. Coming to Wolves has improved me as a player," he said. "I am playing regular football in the best league in the world."
Mancienne conceded that another season on loan at Wolves was a possibility. "Definitely," he said. "If that is what I've got to do, I'll do it. I'll do anything to play football."
Mancienne is starting to adjust to the midfield role and relished taking on the Liverpool captain Gerrard, who returned from injury in the goalless draw.
"I'm growing to like the position of central midfield. I've come on for Chelsea a couple of times there and started against Man City for Wolves and now this game," he said. "It was the same game plan against Steven Gerrard I'd play against anyone. I was pleased with how it went against him – but I only did it with the help of the boys around me.
"But I do enjoy that role of trying to shackle someone, trying to nick the ball in front of people, and getting right up close to someone."
Mancienne feels Wolves will take great heart from holding a revitalised Liverpool and the point kept them above the bottom three.
"That draw is going to give the boys a massive boost. We basically stopped them from creating anything and I think that has given the boys a big lift for the next couple of games," he added. "It was hard work for us. It is a testament to us because we all worked hard and stopped them from being a good side."
Meanwhile, Juliano Belletti has claimed on Twitter that Chelsea have blocked his chance of a move to the Brazilian club Flamengo. Belletti, 33, who can play in defence and midfield, is out for a month with a knee injury.
Flamengo had prepared a two-year deal, but could not afford to pay a transfer fee and Belletti said: "Chelsea FC said that they are not going to release me before the end of my contract, which expires in June 2010."Reuse content