St Johnstone’s Wallace Duffy insists he is determined to seize his chance for the club playing in his preferred position of centre-half.
The 20-year-old joined Saints back in June on a two-year deal after leaving Celtic.
The defender was signed by McDiarmid manager Tommy Wright as a centre-half who can play right-back and his early chances in the team were as cover for Richard Foster, who is now at Ross County.
However, following the recent knee injury to Liam Gordon, Duffy won the nod over Madis Vihmann on Saturday as Saints travelled north to Dingwall to play at the heart of the defence.
He earned praise from Wright for his performance in the 2-2 draw with the youngster now hoping he can embark on an extended run in the position.
Duffy said: “I was a centre-half all through my youth and then I have only played a year or two at right-back.
“Being back at centre-half, it was different but I liked it and it’s what I prefer. I felt more comfortable there.
“I am not much of an attacker for a right-back these days.
“You need to be up and down, crossing and dribbling, things like that.
“I don’t think that’s particularly my game but I have tried to learn.”
Duffy added: “When I came here, I wouldn’t have said I was Fossy’s back-up, it was to be in and around him as he can’t play every game because he is getting older.
“I thought I would get a wee chance now and then to try to impress but I have been fortunate enough to have a lot of games and hopefully that continues.
“I never thought I would be a stick-on unless I did really well when I got a chance.
“But I have got really lucky here and hopefully I can take my opportunity.”
The average age of the St Johnstone back four against Ross County – Duffy, Scott Tanser, skipper Jason Kerr and Anthony Ralston – was just 21 and a half years old.
Duffy admits they are all still a work in progress with a bit of help from “senior citizen”, 27-year-old keeper Zander Clark.
He said: “We are all still learning the game. No-one is the finished article yet so hopefully we can all learn from one another.
“We have a captain who is 22 and there aren’t really any experienced defenders to learn from.
“Zander helps us and talks a lot. He is also always coming over one on one and trying to talk you through things.”
Saints are still ruing the fact they could not turn their overall dominance in Dingwall on Saturday into three points.
However, Duffy is certain that the first league win of the season is just around the corner and once it arrives, St Johnstone will really kick on.
He added: “We definitely should have taken all three points.
“We had chance after chance. We gave away a silly free-kick and they have scored.
“They only had a couple of shots during the game.
“But the mood is still good as we know we should have taken so many wins out of these last eight games – it is coming.
“Hopefully when we get the first win, we will get loads more after that.
“I don’t know if it is coming down to confidence or a bit of nerves but as soon as we get that first win, that will be us, we will be fine.
“Nobody is shying away and we are still trying to play football. We don’t just launch the ball, that’s not the type of team we are.
“We want to get the ball down and play as we have good players.
“So if we can just get the ball into the front players then we will be absolutely fine.”
St Johnstone’s chances of winning in the Highlands would have increased dramatically if Stevie May’s penalty had not been saved.
It continued a lamentable run with Saints having missed six out of the last nine spot-kicks they have been awarded with Duffy admitting he was at a loss to explain it.
He added: “I have never seen anything like it!
“We did penalties the other day and we weren’t great, to be honest.
“So we really need to work on them.
“I am happy to take one if needed but the gaffer will decide that.”