It was a baptism of fire for his St Johnstone debut.
But centre-back Jamie McCart came through 45 minutes against Celtic with his reputation enhanced.
Being sent on at 3-0 down to deal with league champions playing their best football of the season could never be described as easing yourself into life at a new club.
It was a challenge the former Inverness Caledonian Thistle defender faced head-on, though. And the clean-sheet in the second half for Saints would suggest it was a challenge he met.
“Obviously it’s not easy coming off the bench at half-time when you’re 3-0 down to a team like Celtic,” said McCart.
“But you have to make your debut sometime and I was glad to be thrown in the way I was.
“Playing Celtic is the toughest game you can play in the league so it was a difficult night for us.
“Celtic’s players have said that the first half was the best they’ve played this season, so that shows you how difficult it was.
“But the strength of character we showed in the second half, keeping a clean sheet and creating a few chances of our own, is what the gaffer had told us to focus on.
“I don’t think you can ever feel good about losing a game 3-0, but in some ways there are a few positives for us to take from it.
“We just have to build on that second half now and take the same character into the Hearts game.
“It’s another massive game for us and they will come here on a high after their win over Rangers.
“There is a lot at stake for both teams, we want to widen the gap to the bottom and they want to cut it.
“So it’s going to be a really hard fought game you’d imagine.”
Saints lost Matty Kennedy last month after he signed a pre-contract agreement with Aberdeen but the flip side of the coin was the early arrival of McCart.
“Once I had signed the pre-contract I was eager to get here as quickly as possible,” the 22-year-old admitted.
“When I agreed it, the club told me they would do everything they could to bring me in this month.
“With the uncertainty in football you never know if it’s going to happen or not, but I was delighted when it all came together.
“When I met the manager I was impressed by what he said and he really sold moving here to me.
“He is someone I have admired from afar for some time. He’s done an incredible job here.
“Over the years their strength has been a really strong defence, so it’s the kind of place I think I’ll fit in well.
“The lure of Premiership football was a no-brainer.”
McCart, who is expected to be joined in Perth by Caley Thistle full-back Shaun Rooney in the summer, added: “I can’t thank Inverness enough, the gaffer and the staff up there. They gave me a platform to play and have improved me.
“After leaving Celtic you need to make the right choice and I did because I went there, played 50-odd games for them and left a better player.
“So I will always be grateful to them for what they did for me.
“Shaun and I were flat-mates in Inverness but I can’t influence his decision.
“He is a very good player and a great guy who has gone through a tough time this season.”
Saints face a Hearts team much-changed since Daniel Stendel’s first game in December that ended up a 1-0 win for Tommy Wright’s men.
Wright, who has Anthony Ralston available again but will be without Drey Wright and Murray Davidson, said: “Based on their performance against Rangers they will be a different proposition from the last game.
“They have strengthened and I expect more coming in.
“Hearts are in a position to go and spend huge amount of money on Liam Boyce. They shop in a different supermarket from the likes of us.
“I expected Hearts to splash the cash in this window to get off the bottom of the table.
“Maybe the players he had couldn’t play the type of football the manager wanted.
“They made it very difficult for Rangers so we know it is going to be a tough game.
“But this is an opportunity for us to go nine points clear. So it is a big game for us.
“It is going to be a battle. It might not be pretty but it will be exciting, a real humdinger.
“They will try to press the life out of us and we have to be ready for that.”