Tottenam defender Sebastien Bassong feels he has "gone backwards" at White Hart Lane, revealing his "heaven to hell" nightmare as the reason behind his desire to leave the club in the summer.
Bassong, 24, was a regular fixture in Spurs' first XI last season, helping the club qualify for the Champions League for the first time.
However, he has fallen out of favour this term, and has been an unused substitute on 30 occasions in all competitions. The Cameroon defender, who joined from Newcastle in August 2009 for £8 million, still has three years to run on his current contract but has resigned himself to not seeing it through.
"I know football's rules and I know that it's up to the manager," Bassong said. "If he likes someone else more than me, I totally get it. But the fact is that after last season, and what we achieved together, I couldn't even imagine that I would be in this situation.
"I haven't made some huge mistake on the pitch or anything. It's just happened. For a bit, I felt lost because I haven't faced this situation before in my career. I feel that I have gone backwards, like I have gone from heaven to hell.
"I am a guy who simply has to play. I would never just sit there and take the money. I am reaching an age where, if I don't play week in, week out, and if I don't feel real trust in me, then I can't stay, no matter which club it is. This is the situation at Tottenham. I have to try to find a way out because I have to try to play. The only thing I want is to play."
Spurs boss Harry Redknapp has had to contend with a number of injuries among his defenders this season but, despite a stretched squad, Bassong has failed to make a case for more regular selection.
"It's not just about who is playing well," he said. "We have big names and it's all about the manager, how keen he is on some players or not. There is a hierarchy and it's like you are fighting against a wall. You can hit it and hit it but it will never fall down. That's just the way football is at this club. I am not complaining. It's just a fact."