Aberdeen midfielder Dean Campbell hopes his fortunes have taken a turn for the better as he prepares for the challenge of staying in the starting 11 at Pittodrie.
Campbell was given a rare start in Saturday’s 2-0 win against Ross County, partnering Ross McCrorie in the heart of the Aberdeen midfield in the absence of the suspended Lewis Ferguson.
He said: “My season has been up and down this year. The team has done really well this year.
“I thought I had a good pre-season, then the Covid situation happened and then I got injured which kept me out for a few months and that was really frustrating.
“I took the time to try to work on myself and get stronger and learn the game more. I’ve been delighted to get back on the pitch in the last couple of games and I’m very happy to get the win.
“I had a broken metatarsal, which was really frustrating because I couldn’t do any work on it. I had to just let it heal.
“It was a few months just sitting on the sidelines watching, which was frustrating. But I feel good now and it’s great to be back out on the pitch.”
Ferguson is set to return for the trip to Kilmarnock on Sunday, but Campbell hopes he has given Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes a dilemma after playing his part in the win at the weekend.
He said: “I will just keep focusing on myself and whatever will be will be. I will keep doing as much as I can, working as hard as I can to improve and try and force my way into the team.
“I want to keep doing as much as I can to put myself in the manager’s thoughts and hopefully that takes me into the team.”
Campbell’s solid display was matched by that of his Aberdeen team-mates as the Dons picked up their first win in five matches.
Two draws and two defeats have made for miserable viewing since the return of the international break, but Campbell hopes Saturday was a sign his club has turned the corner.
He said: “It was good to get back to winning ways as it was a tough few weeks. We had the disappointment of going out of the cup and then dropping points last week in the league. It was important we got a positive result and we were glad to get all three points.
“The manager has spoken to us about trying to get a fast start in matches. We need to start fast and we didn’t do that recently.
“In the first half we were really positive and we were breaking quickly and creating chances. County changed their shape and that threw us off a little bit and it took us some time to adjust.
“But when we did I think we were fairly comfortable and we limited them to just a few chances.”