Caley Thistle defender Kevin McHattie is determined to make up for lost time after being handed a return to Scottish football by Inverness manager John Robertson.
McHattie began his career with Hearts before going on to have spells at Kilmarnock and Raith Rovers, but the left back most recently played in the League of Ireland with Derry City.
A knee injury at Tynecastle, followed by a groin problem during his time with Rovers, threatened to stunt McHattie’s development however the 25-year-old feels the spell with the Candystripes has helped him get back on track, having played eight games towards the end of last year prior to joining Inverness until the end of this season.
McHattie could feature in today’s Championship match against Ayr United after making his debut as a substitute in the 2-1 loss to Queen of the South last weekend, and he said: “I’ve had a few injuries which have set me back.
“Now I’ve been over to Ireland and got a good few games under my belt before coming back here. I’m feeling good and fit.
“I was in at Raith Rovers for two years and had kind of a rough time there, in and out with injuries for a year and a half. That was frustrating.
“Kenny Shiels phoned and asked if I wanted to go over to Derry and it was a good chance to get away and just focus on my football again – get fit and get game-time.
“I got a bit of momentum behind me with the games over there. I’ve had a few weeks off with the season finishing, but I’ve tried to keep on top of things and keep fit and sharp.
“I’ve come here to try to regain confidence in myself, which hopefully I will do. The management have every belief I can do well.”
McHattie is surrounded by familiar Tynecastle faces at Caledonian Stadium, with manager Robertson having worked in a coaching and ambassadorial role with the Jambos, while he also made the first team breakthrough alongside now Caley Jags defender Brad Mckay.
McHattie added: “The manager’s eagerness to bring me in made my mind up.
“I obviously know the manager from before and that’s a factor you consider when you move clubs. He knows what I’m all about and vice-versa.
“At Tynecastle, he was in twice a week coaching for a spell just taking the strikers and he was always around the place on match-days, always speaking and asking how you were.
“Brad signed when I signed for Hearts at the age of 17. He’s a good guy.
“We were saying in the car a few days ago, the last thing we expected back then was to both be up in the Highlands playing our football.
“It is funny how things turn out. Being up here with Brad, he’ll help me through things and hopefully I’ll help him as well.”