Edinburgh's Robbie McIntyre insists substitute role worked wonders now he's back in the side
The FC Edinburgh left full-back has recently been restored to the starting XI after finding himself limited to appearances from the subs' bench.
And the 28-year-old, who captained the side to promotion via the play-offs in May, is thrilled to be back in manager Alan Maybury's plans.
McIntyre admits that not being a regular starter this season has allowed him to reset, both physically and mentally.
And now he's hungrier than ever to deliver more success to a side that continues to punch above its weight in Scottish League One.
"I'm buzzing to be back in the team and playing again," McIntyre told the Evening News. "It's been quite a tough period for myself recently because I have been used to playing and starting matches. So, to take a step back and challenge for my spot, it gives you a kick up the backside. I'm not saying I needed it, but I think it's good for everyone at some point to experience that.
"It has shown me how much it does mean to me to be playing because I have been working so hard trying to get back in. The gaffer has been really good. We had a chat a couple of months ago and before he even said anything to me, I said to him that I felt I wasn't playing that well. It was affecting me mentally and physically so I think it's been the right decision as it has allowed me to get back to where I needed to be. I've had to be patient but the manager has always been by my side.
"I've just put it down to a blip, but I can't really explain why I felt I lost my form. It's just great to be back involved. I'm maybe being a bit hard on myself because last season was quite demanding and I was out for quite a long time with my ankle. Maybe that's always been at the back of my mind."
Edinburgh take a break from league duty this weekend as they visit West of Scotland outfit Drumchapel United on Scottish Cup third-round duty, buoyed by last Saturday's remarkable comeback against Alloa.
"I don't think I've ever been involved in a game like that before," McIntyre said. "It was just crazy. To come back and win a game after being 3-0 down is just incredible. I've been spending the whole week trying to get my head around it. The goal just before half-time and then Robbie's (Mutch) penalty save was crucial so we got those key moments at the right time. The feeling of satisfaction after the game, it's better than just your run-of-the-mill win so it was special. It was a real feeling of pride.
"I've looked at Drumchapel's previous results and they're going strong so it's going to be a tough game. With it being the Scottish Cup, these types of games can either go really well or the complete opposite. They have nothing to lose, they'll have some individuals who I am sure could probably play at a higher level.
"I think we'll go with a strong team as we want to do well in this competition. I'm sure there will be challenges off the pitch too but we'll need to stay composed. These things always come into play, especially in the cup but I think we've got enough experience in the team to control our emotions."