Kris Meeke says his disappointing Rally Finland performance was a "hangover" from being benched by Citroen for the previous World Rally Championship round in Poland.
A year after the career high of becoming the first British WRC winner in Finland, Meeke finished eighth there this season.
He had been dropped for Poland in favour of Andreas Mikkelsen and declared when he arrived in Finland that the decision showed some at Citroen lacked faith in him.
Though he was fastest on the shakedown, Meeke lost confidence thereafter and finished three places and nearly two minutes behind team-mate Craig Breen, and just over three minutes off winner Esapekka Lappi.
"This has been one of the most difficult weekends I've had in a rally car," said Meeke.
"For me there's no doubt this is a hangover from Poland."
Citroen team principal Yves Matton had asked to be judged on his decision to drop Meeke only after he had returned for Finland, suggesting his driver "needed a break" and would benefit from it.
When that was put to him by Autosport following Meeke's Finland result, Matton replied: "There is nothing which shows me it was not the right decision.
"We expected more from this weekend.
"At the beginning of the rally he had the right pace, but his approach was different here.
"I can understand his frustration, but he came to the finish and he brought back a lot of information.
"For a driver like Kris, who is a real competitor, it is frustrating, but I think this is the right approach."