Declan McManus spent last season trying all he could to avoid the play-offs – but is desperate to see Dunfermline seal their place this afternoon.
The Pars striker was with Fife rivals Raith Rovers last term and ended up in a relegation battle that went all the way to the play-offs before the Kirkcaldy outfit slipped down into League One.
This year, the former Aberdeen marksman has been eyeing promotion to the Premiership instead and the Fifers will finally clinch a top-four spot if they beat on-form Inverness Caley Thistle this afternoon.
McManus admits it is an entirely different sensation this time round, but he hopes to put his Rovers experiences to good use should Dunfermline see off Inverness and Morton for a play-off place.
The 23-year-old said: “It’s a lot better feeling this season. After a game, you know you’re pushing for something good, rather than pushing to avoid something bad.
“But I think I learned a lot from last year’s play-offs.
“It was a massive learning curve and I wouldn’t change that. As much as I wouldn’t have wanted it at the time, I learned a lot from it.
“Hopefully come May, I’ll be in a better place mentally going into our first play-off game and ready for it.
“I’ve played in a bad version of the play-offs and had that heartache, and you can only learn from that.”
Dunfermline, who topped the Championship at the start of the campaign, have needed a stunning sequence of results to work their way back into the play-off reckoning.
Just one defeat in their last 11 games, and four consecutive wins have ensured their fate is in their own hands today.
However, Inverness have themselves pieced together five back-to-back victories to go into this afternoon’s encounter knowing three more wins in their remaining fixtures against the Pars, Livingston and Morton will snatch them a play-off spot.
McManus added: “We go into every single game trying to win every single game, but we know that if we win this one we’re in the play-offs.
“In football, if you’re on a good run everything seems to fall into place. As a team, we’re going into games confident and that’s a massive thing.
“This is a huge game. They’re just like us, they’re on a winning streak as well, so it’s probably one of the toughest games we’ll have had in the last six or seven weeks.
“But we know what we need to do to seal the play-offs and that’s exactly what we’ll be going to try to do.
“Everybody’s flying just now, in games and in training. There’s a good vibe about the place, everybody’s enjoying it and everybody’s striving for the same thing.
“We want to get into the play-offs and we want to make sure that after the Dumbarton game next weekend we’re in a position where we can go and try to challenge to get back to the Premiership.”