Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic says he hopes Antonio Conte was watching as he played his part in Serbia's draw against Wales at the weekend.
The Serbia captain was deployed as one of three centre-backs against the Welsh on Saturday and said he was delighted to be back on the park.
“I was injured and I'm just back in the [Serbia] team,” said the 32-year-old in Cardiff.
“Of course it's great to be back on the pitch. I need minutes, it's very important for me and I hope in the future I will be physically ready, and ready to play for the team.”
Ivanovic , who has played only three minutes for his club since the Gunners shot him down, was asked if he hoped Conte was watching as his solid display helped Serbia to an important point, secured by an 85th-minute equaliser from Newcastle's Aleksandar Mitrovic.
“Definitely all the managers look at the players for their [national] teams and of course he's a top manager and he was watching all our players,” said Ivanovic, who is reported to be considering a move from Stamford Bridge during the January transfer window.
“I'm ready to play and I like to play, especially for my country, and I'm always ready.
“Every player in the world likes to play every game but sometimes you don't have the option, but you have to be ready for every challenge and, from my side, I can say I'm ready.”
The former Lokomotiv Moscow player is reportedly seeking to stay in the capital if he does leave the Bridge, although Milan are said to be keen on taking the Serb, whose Chelsea contract is due to expire at the end of the season.
Ironically Ivanovic features in the sort of back three for his country that may hasten his departure from west London.
“It's definitely changed our team when [Serbia] started playing with three at the back,” added Ivanovic. “Personally it's helped me because I can be in that shape and be there for the team.
"I think with this shape players can learn a lot tactically. I think it's the future of football.”
The defender, who has spent eight years at Stamford Bridge, but who was a lightning rod for supporter dissatisfaction with performances last season, refused to be drawn on his situation in west London.
“We [Chelsea] are in a good mode, playing some fantastic games, fantastic football,” he said. “We're working very hard and this is something very positive," he added.
Unless there is a change of heart from Conte though, Ivanovic could be wearing different club colours by the time he returns to World Cup qualifying with Serbia in Tblisi to play Georgia in March.