Brad McKay knows that plenty of people had come to the conclusion that his St Johnstone career was over, before it had ever really begun.
But the former Hearts defender, who admitted he struggled to settle at McDiarmid Park after his switch from Tynecastle last summer, has made an encouraging second start.
McKay impressed alongside fellow ex-Hearts man Liam Gordon in the centre of defence against Bradford City at McDiarmid Park on Tuesday night, scoring one of the two home goals.
It has been a step in the right direction for a player determined to show he can still become a St Johnstone success story.
“The first season here was a write-off and there were probably a lot of people who thought I’d never play again for St Johnstone,” McKay said.
“I was frozen out a bit here and the team was doing really well.
“I had difficulty finding my feet in the first few months after being at Hearts for so long.
“Hopefully I will get my chance and make more of an impact here this season.
“My mind set has just been to stay positive and work hard.
“No one will feel sorry for you in football so there’s no point in feeling sorry for yourself.
“I have been through a lot in my life and I am pretty strong.
“I have come back with a positive outlook and I’ll see where it takes me.”
McKay added: “Liam and I played together in the youths at Hearts. He is a good talker and a natural leader. We know each other well.
“First and foremost it was good to get 90 minutes against a good side like Bradford. And it was great to get a clean sheet and a goal in a good team performance.
“One pre-season friendly doesn’t mean anything in the greater scheme of things. But it gives me something to build on. It is a stepping stone for where I want to go.”
Getting regular football (and a League One winner’s medal) in a second half of the season loan spell at Dunfermline last term helped McKay after his false-start at McDiarmid Park.
“It was what I needed,” he said. “There’s no question about that.
“I went to a winning team at Dunfermline and it was good to get games and a championship medal.
“I’ve been working hard over the summer. I knew I had to come back in good shape to give myself a chance and I’m fitter than I have ever been.”