Anthony McDonald hopes Caley Thistle manager John Robertson can help him regain momentum after making the move on loan from Hearts.
McDonald broke into the Jambos side at the age of just 16 midway through last season, making his debut in a 2-0 win over Dundee in December 2017 in the first of 13 appearances before the end of the campaign.
A major summer recruitment drive by Hearts manager Craig Levein has limited McDonald’s opportunities this season however, with just six first team outings for the Tynecastle club.
McDonald says Levein called upon a trusted figure in the form of Jambos’ all-time leading scorer Robertson in a bid to get his career back on track.
McDonald, now 17, said: “It was good last season, I didn’t really expect to be playing at all at 16 or 17.
“I think I played a bit more than was maybe planned because of injuries, and the smallness of the squad.
“It was a surprise, but it’s something I really want more of.
“This season, it has been disappointing not playing a lot. We have brought in a lot of quality players which is understandable.
“I just need to take that on the chin.
“I was talking to Craig Levein, who knows the manager here very well, and he says he will take care of me.
“I obviously know John Robertson from being in the academy at Hearts. I like him and he likes me, so it was an easy decision to come here.
“Hopefully I can make a good impression at the end of this season before I go back and do my best for them next season.”
McDonald has started twice and made one substitute appearance since joining Caley Jags towards the end of January, but missed Monday’s Scottish Cup fifth round Highland derby draw against Ross County through illness.
The Kirkcaldy-born player hopes to be back in contention for today’s Championship trip to Dunfermline, adding: “I had a gastric flu, so I was up all night being sick which wasn’t nice.
“It was a bit of a blow, I was gutted to miss the game.
“It’s not good we drew, we would have preferred to get the win. But it’s good to have the chance to play another game against them.
“I have enjoyed getting minutes. I wasn’t really playing for Hearts, but I have come up here and it’s a good level.
“It’s just a chance for me to get fit, and hopefully help to push the team up the table.”
Fourth-placed Caley Jags will set up a Scottish Cup quarter final away to Championship rivals Dundee United if they progress past County in Tuesday’s replay, and McDonald insists there is plenty to look forward to on both league and cup fronts during his spell with the Highlanders.
He added: “We need to just look towards Dunfermline and get the job done before we look at Tuesday.
“In the last league game against Partick Thistle we were not good enough.
“We just need to put it right by getting three points against Dunfermline.
“We are high up in the league and still have a chance, while the Scottish Cup gives us the chance to get into a semi final if we can beat Ross County.
“It is exciting. Hopefully we can win the big games, and maybe we can have a day at Hampden.”