New Caley Thistle defender Lewis Toshney feels Inverness have given him the perfect chance to show he belongs at a higher level.
Toshney last week joined Caley Jags on an 18-month deal after his short-term contract with League 1 side Falkirk ended earlier this month.
The 27-year-old played 12 games for the Bairns, enjoying a sustained run of matches after recovering from a career-threatening knee injury which ravaged his three-year spell with hometown club Dundee United.
Toshney, who began his career at Celtic and had top-flight stints with Kilmarnock, Dundee and Ross County, sees his move to Inverness as fine opportunity to prove his doubters wrong.
Toshney said: “I’ve got the fire in the belly again and I’m ready to go. As soon as I heard John Robertson and Inverness were interested I was buzzing to get up here and get back to the Championship.
“I’ve got a lot of people to prove wrong – and prove to myself as well.
“I know I can play at a higher level. I’ve played at this level, and I have played in the Premiership. I have got the experience now, I just need to get back playing and enjoying it.
“There is no better place than Inverness at the moment.
“Even coming in for training for the three days I’ve been in, there has been a real buzz about the place.
“They are sitting second in the league and flying, so I’m really looking forward to getting going and helping them out.”
Toshney is thankful to still be playing following the knee injury which limited him to just 39 appearances during his spell with United, who paid a five-figure fee to sign him from Raith Rovers in 2016.
Toshney added: “I was out for a year-and-a-half with it and I just couldn’t get it away.
“I sat down with Tam Scobbie and Laurie Ellis and just told them it was not getting better – I was going to have to think about my future.
“I want to walk when I’m 40 – I don’t want to be crippled and getting operation after operation.
“I can’t speak highly enough of the Dundee United doctor Dave Nicoll. He did the operation to basically save my career.
“It has obviously worked as I’m back playing now. It was good to just get back playing again, and enjoying football again.”
Toshney’s involvement in the Scottish Cup with Falkirk earlier this season means he will be cup-tied when Inverness travel to Alloa Athletic in Saturday’s fourth round tie, however he is looking forward to watching his new team-mates in action.
He added: “It gives me a wee bit more time to get to know the boys. I will go and watch the game on Saturday and get to know the way they want to play.
“I know they want to play football, so I’m looking forward to going and watching them for the first time.”