Luke McCowan is only halfway through his third season as a regular first-team footballer.
Having emerged as a young player at Ayr United and made his name in the Championship, this term was his chance at top flight level.
Dundee came calling as they themselves made the step up from the second tier.
It has taken a while for the Dark Blues to find their feet in the Premiership – performances were good but points were lacking.
Now, though, confidence is high, wins are totting up and the Dens Park club are looking up the table rather than over their shoulder.
And McCowan is more than playing his part as a schemer on the left flank, grabbing goals and looking at home in the top division.
‘I never doubted myself’
Confident in his own ability, the 23-year-old backed himself to make the grade in the top division.
But even he admits it has gone better than he hoped at the start of the season.
“That was probably the thought in my head,” he admitted.
“I never doubted myself but it is a step up in league and a step up in quality.
“You have to make sure you are at it every week or you will be punished.
“I know I can step up to that level and hopefully kick on from here.”
‘I was already heading towards the stands!’
After netting in the victory over Aberdeen, McCowan added his second league goal of the season with another key strike against Motherwell that kicked off a 3-0 win.
And he thought he’d made it two in two only to see a curling effort tipped onto the post by St Johnstone goalie Zander Clark in the 1-0 win on Wednesday.
McCowan said: “What a save that was. At the end, Zander said how he had tipped that onto the post he would never know.
“I was already away, I was gone, heading towards the stands!
“I had a word with the referee but he just said it was a goal kick. Once he has made his mind up there is no telling him.”
He added: “We took the belief from Saturday into Wednesday and we just need to keep carrying that on.
“We are told, and we know ourselves, that the battling and working hard comes first, then gradually the talent will come through.”
After consecutive wins for the first time this season, the next match couldn’t be tougher for Dundee – a trip to champions Rangers.
The Ibrox club haven’t lost a home league match since before the pandemic began.
McCowan acknowledges how tough a task the Dark Blues face this weekend but this type of challenge is exactly why he made the move up from the Championship.
“We are in good form but obviously we know how hard the Rangers game will be,” he added.
“You have to go in confident. You are going into a game and there is no point in thinking you can’t take something from it, no matter where you are going or wherever you are playing.
“You want to take something from the match whether it is a win or a draw.
“You just have to hope on the day that you play as well as you can and they play as badly as they can.
“I played in the semi-final of the youth cup for Ayr at Ibrox before – I was on for about four minutes or something.
“But I have never played in front of a packed Ibrox stadium so I am really looking forward to it.”