Mariappa never doubted his ability
Adrian Mariappa never doubted himself as he enjoys a regular run in the Watford side under "spot-on" head coach Javi Gracia.
The Hornets star has emerged as one of the cornerstone's of Gracia's backline in recent months, having started the last nine Premier League matches in a row.
"When you are fit and you want to be playing you don't want to be sitting on the bench or in the stands. I have just had to keep my head down and work hard and believe in my own ability," he told Sky Sports.
"I have never doubted my ability but I know it's not as simple as just that. You need the chance to play and you need your managers to believe in you. At the moment the manager is showing great faith in me and I am just trying to repay that faith."
Gracia has already lasted much longer in the Vicarage Road hot-seat than many of his predecessors and Mariappa thinks his ideas have been a big reason behind the club's sustained challenge for a top-eight finish.
"He has got the whole team working together as one," Mariappa said of Gracia.
"When you keep a clean sheet it's a collective effort from everyone, that's what he demands day in, day out in training, so that carries onto the pitch.
"He is different from Marco Silva [Gracia's predecessor], but then every manager I have had has been different. Their ideas are very different. You can see all the lads have bought into the gaffer's ideas and are really pulling in the same direction.
"He has been spot-on since he came in. He had a very difficult job when he came here with so many injuries and he steadied the ship. We had a good pre-season so he could get his own ideas across and how he wants us to train and play. That is one of the big reasons why we have done so well this year."
Simon Barlow has a wealth of journalism experience and in-depth knowledge in a number of sports. As well as his extensive football knowledge, Simon is also well versed on cricket, tennis, American Football and cycling amongst others.