Attacker Jay Emmanuel-Thomas never lost faith he would break back into the Aberdeen starting XI.
During almost three months frozen out of the starting team the summer signing says he never became disheartened.
Nor did he ask for an explanation from manager Stephen Glass on his lack of game time.
Instead the 30-year-old focused on impressing in training.
It paid off when Emmanuel Thomas, aka JET, came in from the cold to start the 2-0 defeat of Livingston.
JET grabbed his chance and retained his starting slot for the 4-1 defeat of St Mirren.
Now back in the starting line-up JET intends to stay there.
JET, who is in contention to start against St Johnstone, said: “I never lost faith at all.
“It’s all about maintaining high spirits and I always have belief in my own abilities so when called upon I know I can deliver.
“It’s a team game and the squad we have is 22 players so there’s always going to be a time when you’re needed to be called upon.
“When the manager told me I was going to be playing against Livingston then I knew I had a job to do.”
Frustration at time on the sideline
Prior to his return against Livingston Emmanuel-Thomas suffered nine games on the sidelines.
His previous start was in a 1-0 defeat of St Johnstone on September 18.
JET admits it was frustrating but accepts patience was key.
He said: “You have to bide your time and wait to take your chance when you get on the pitch.
“It’s obviously down to the manager’s discretion as to who gets to play.
“It has been frustrating but it’s a team game. Everyone has to bide their time at some point as only eleven players can get picked.
“When I get on I always try my best to help the team.
“We’ve had positive results in the last two games and I’ve been involved in those two games so it’s good competition.
“You just have to make sure you’re ready when called upon.”
JET didn’t seek answers from boss
In the nine matches between starts JET played just 19 minutes when coming off the bench against St Mirren (3-2 loss) and Dundee (2-1 loss).
Asked if he sought an explanation from the manager about lack of game time, JET said: “No.
“I didn’t speak to the manager about it when I was out of the team.
“The manager has got a job to do and he’s got a lot of players to pick from.
“He’s got to create a base and a bit of solidity in the team.
“It was never the aim to be going in and knocking his door and asking him why I wasn’t involved.
“I was just getting on with training and waiting to be called upon.
“Obviously, the team weren’t performing really well and we were struggling to hit the back of the net in a few games.
“However it seems to have changed now.”
Aberdeen’s return to winning form
JET’s return to the starting fold has coincided with back to back victories to elevate Aberdeen back into the Premiership top six.
Prior to the recent defeats of St Mirren and Livingston at Pittodrie the Dons had suffered three straight Premiership losses.
The attacker insists the feel-good factor is now sweeping through Pittodrie again after a tough few months.
He said: “From the first win it gave us that buzz and took us into the next one.
“There wasn’t much time between the games to enjoy the win properly as we had to go straight back into training.
“You can feel the confidence building within the boys.
“The vibe is different and it’s all a good feeling and we want to take that into the St Johnstone game.
“As a team I feel we’ve been performing really well.
“We’ve picked up two good results and we want to keep that run going for as long as possible.”
Premiership blank but a cup cracker
Signed on a two year contract in the summer, JET netted nine times for Livingston last season.
Although he has yet to score in the Premiership for the Dons he did convert a superb volley in the 2-1 League Cup loss to Raith Rovers in August.
— Aberdeen FC (@AberdeenFC) August 15, 2021
Dons boss Glass fielded an attacking quartet against St Mirren with JET, Ryan Hedges and Marley Watkins in support of Christian Ramirez.
Ramirez and Watkins netted a brace each with JET pitching in with an assist.
Whilst the forwards clicked in attack and delivered goals, JET insists they also had to pitch in with their defensive duties.
It will be the same again at St Johnstone against last season’s League Cup and Scottish Cup double winners.
He said: “We want to continue applying pressure to the opposition.
“We played against Livingston and we all know what Livingston do as a game plan, so we had to make sure we counteracted that.
“St Mirren were different and we started well.
“The boys understand what they need to do at both ends of the pitch.”