Jason Talbot saw his bid to impress John Hughes end in agony at Livingston and now the Dunfermline defender intends to be the one inflicting pain on his former gaffer.
The 31-year-old was on the books of Livi when Hughes took the helm five years ago but made just six appearances under the now Raith Rovers coach before suffering a devastating knee injury in a game against Ross County.
That ruled him out for almost a year and by the time Talbot had battled back to full fitness ‘Yogi’ had already left for pastures new at Hartlepool United.
Nevertheless, Talbot has nothing but praise for Hughes’ coaching methods and personality, and knows he will have Rovers riled up for a mouth-watering Fife derby this afternoon.
Talbot recalled: “I actually only played a couple of game under John Hughes, and my last one only lasted 20 minutes!
“I ruptured my knee early in his time at Livingston.
“He had been in for a couple of weeks and you are always keen to work and impress a new manager.
“That’s obviously a regret but sadly that is just part and parcel of football – you pick up bad injuries at the worst times – and you need to fight back.
“However, his training – and the experience of being around the club when he was in charge – was impressive.
“His passion, his love for the game and a desire to play attacking, entertaining football was really infectious.
“That’s what I took from him as a coach, I thought he was really good.
“He is very passionate and intense about wanting to play football – not the style of ‘lumping’ football, as he calls it – so I’m sure he’ll try to get his boys to attack, have a go and play against us.
“I hope that is the case because, to be honest, we play a lot better against sides that come here and try to come out and play.
“It’s a big park out there and hopefully we can exploit any gaps that are created if they come here to have a go.”
Talbot reckons safety is in sight for the East End Park outfit after a respectable campaign back in the Championship.
He added: “I think in our own mindset, if we get another win – perhaps two – then mentally you start to feel safe and you don’t need to look behind you.
“But it’s about getting those results and making sure we climb that table.”