Dundee’s Faissal El Bakhtaoui is convinced he can still make it in the Premiership, but is happy to have the chance to prove himself all over again at Dunfermline.
The Frenchman left Tayside for the Pars on a season-long loan last month after becoming increasingly frustrated with his lack of game-time at Dens Park.
The 25-year-old scored eight times in 66 appearances for the Dark Blues after joining from Dunfermline in 2016 but failed to scale the heights he did with the Pars first time round.
The striker insists his opportunities in his favoured central striking role were all too rare under Neil McCann and this term was unlikely to be any better.
Now the former futsal star, who joined Dunfermline as a complete unknown in 2012, is desperate to breathe new life into his career in familiar surroundings.
Speaking ahead of tonight’s IRN-BRU Cup clash away to Inverness Caley Thistle, he said: “I’m happy to be back at Dunfermline. This was my first club when I came over to Scotland and I learned so much at this club.
“That’s why I was thinking with my family about coming back here and I think I’ve made the right decision.
“The fans here are unbelievable and it’s a big club, a club that should be at a higher level in Scotland, and hopefully we can have a good season.
“I have come back a better player, with more experience. I learned so much in the Premiership, even though I was a bit frustrated at Dundee.
“I think I can play at that level but it just didn’t happen for me. I just didn’t get my game-time.
“When I did play at Dundee, I think I did well, but I thank Neil McCann for giving me the chance to come out to Dunfermline on loan.
“The system we played at Dundee didn’t help me. We were playing just one up front and I was playing as a second striker and on the left wing and the right wing.
“I was happy to play, I was happy to get a game, but I don’t think it was my right position.
“All my goals I scored with Dundee came when I was in my right position, in the middle, and I’m happy to get the chance to play there with Dunfermline.”
El Bakhtaoui has scored twice in four games so far for the Pars but was unable to help them as they lost for the first time this season in Saturday’s 3-1 home defeat to title rivals Ross County.
They face Highland opposition for the second time in three days tonight and El Bakhtaoui is hoping to repay the support he has received from the Dunfermline supporters by bringing success to East End Park.
He added: “The fans are unreal towards me. I feel at home here and they help me so much, which helps me to play better every week and hopefully help the team in the league and the cups.”