Greg Stewart is a man with a point to prove after conceding he has failed to grasp his chance to get his career back on track at Aberdeen.
The on-loan Birmingham City midfielder struggled last season at the English Championship club and had hoped a season at Pittodrie would kick-start his career. But one goal and six starts so far for the Dons suggests the former Dundee player is still adapting to life back in Scottish football.
Stewart knows he is capable of more than he has shown and said: “I didn’t expect to play every week but I thought I’d get a better chance here. It’s not worked out as I’d have liked so far but there is a lot of competition in this squad.
“I’ve got a lot more to bring to the table but it just hasn’t happened yet. There are a lot of new faces trying to find their feet and I wouldn’t say we’ve played our best yet, although we’ve managed to win games.
“I feel like I’m getting there. I’m not far away but the more games I play, the better I’ll get. I’ll keep working hard in training and try to take my chance when it comes.”
Stewart, who came off the bench in the 1-0 win at Motherwell on Sunday, hopes to get another chance to press his claim for a regular starting berth when the Dons host St Johnstone today.
Aberdeen go into the game hoping to bounce back from dropping two points at home to Kilmarnock in their last home game.
Stewart said: “We were totally in control of the first half-hour against Kilmarnock but we needed to be ruthless and punish them. There was only one goal in it and because they were still in the game they thrived on it. We have to try to get the goals to kill teams off.
“We are at the stage now where they have to win every home game. That’s the expectation now and we need to apply ourselves better in games.
“The supporters will back us no matter what but they get frustrated at times and that’s why we have to win our home games.”
The Dons can move six points clear of the Perth men with victory today but Stewart knows Tommy Wright’s Saints, the only team to take points off Celtic so far this season, will be determined to get a result from their first trip to Pittodrie this term.
He said: “St Johnstone is always a tricky game. They have got experience, good players and every season they seem to click and do well. We know we are facing a difficult game.
“I don’t know if another team is better suited to playing away from home. They are hard to beat and have a few players in the team who are good on the counter-attack. They are hard to score against and have goals in their team.
“I expect them to be in the top six now with the squad and experience they have, so I never underestimate them.
“People think St Johnstone overachieve but we know how hard they are to play against. Whatever Tommy Wright does seems to work.”