ROBBIE Weir says his three-game banishment from the Burton Albion team was the “kick up the backside” he needed to get back to his old form.
The Northern Irish midfielder, 24, made 51 appearances last season as the Brewers made the League Two play-offs.
This campaign, he started the first six matches, but was then benched for three league games in a row, with new signing Adam Reed preferred to play alongside skipper Lee Bell.
However, Weir returned against AFC Wimbledon last Saturday with a man-of-the-match display.
He said: “That was the best thing the gaffer could have done for me and hopefully I’m back now.
“The three games I’ve been out have been a kick up the backside, and I think that’s what I needed.
“Last year I played nearly every game, but this year I was off the boil like the gaffer said.
“Those games gave me the boost I needed to get back to what I was doing, closing people down, passing simple, finding feet and stuff like that.
“It’s good to get back playing again and get 90 minutes under my belt.
“I’m happy that I did well, and hopefully I can build on that and play well again at the Pirelli.”
Weir is likely to keep his place as Burton look to end a three-game losing run at home to Scunthorpe United tomorrow, kick-off 3pm.
They will have to do so without Ian Sharps, who serves the final game of his suspension, and Marcus Holness, who starts his own ban after being sent off against the Dons.
“Another stupid decision and an individual mistake has led to somebody getting sent off again,” said Weir.
“You expect that sometimes with emotions running high, but we had a little bit of an argument in the changing room afterwards.
“Marcus said sorry and that, and sometimes that happens in football.
“But it’s kind of cost us the game again.
“That’s three games in a row that we’ve lost, and we need to learn from it.”
As a stalwart of last season, Weir knows the level at which he and his team-mates can perform, and has called on a return to the form that led to just three home league defeats all season.
“We need to get ourselves back to what we were last year when we were running teams into the ground and stuff like that,” he said.
“At the end of last year, teams hated to play against us.
“The biggest disappointment is that what we were doing last year, we’re not doing this year.
“We keep going on about last year, but we got into the play-offs.
“It’s very, very disappointing, and I’m not singling out the new boys, but we need to chase down those long balls into the channels.”
On Scunthorpe, who came down from League One last summer and have lost just one game so far this season, he said: “The way we’re playing at the minute, every game is going to be a hard game.
“I think Scunthorpe are a good test for us to bounce back in, especially at home, and hopefully we can get back to what we were doing.”
And the former Tranmere Rovers midfielder believes that with hard work in training, a win is around the corner.
“We need to bounce back now, and although we’ve said that in the last three games, it’s really starting to kick in now,” he said.
“We need to be fitter, and the gaffer has said that, but we’ll get back in training and work on it, and hopefully get three points at home.
“Over the long haul, I think if we do more running in training, it’ll pay off over the course of the season.”