(Reuters) - Everton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin has admitted he nearly fell out of love with the game at former club Manchester United due to his lack of opportunities under manager Jose Mourinho.
Schneiderlin, who joined the Manchester club in 2015, was a regular under former United boss Louis van Gaal but was limited to three substitute league appearances under Mourinho before switching to Everton in January.
"I did lose my joy of football a little bit because when you don't play, you don't play with freedom and everything is very hard," the 27-year old Frenchman told British media.
"Since I've come here the manager (Ronald Koeman) knows what I'm all about. He placed confidence in me in the past and he has done so again. It's a joy to work with him every day."
Schneiderlin has made seven appearances for Everton in all competitions and scored his first goal for the club during the 3-0 win against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.
"I'm very happy to find this joy of football again and hopefully it will carry on for me," he added.
Everton are seventh in the league, two points behind Manchester United, and host third-from-bottom Hull City on Saturday.
Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Trevelyan