Sean Welsh is desperate to put injury nightmares behind him as Caley Thistle chase success on three fronts.
The composed and classy midfielder took barely two minutes to make his mark from the bench on Saturday by setting up the hosts’ equaliser against Alloa.
It was Welsh’s first competitive action since breaking a metatarsal bone in his foot for the second time in six months back in early October.
Having done the same to the other foot in March, when he missed five months, the 29-year-old’s impressive spells of form for Caley Thistle have been greatly-hampered by injury ill-fortune.
Welsh, though, knows he is returning at an exciting point in the season, despite Saturday’s home setback and the gloom among supporters surrounding the double departure of Coll Donaldson and Jamie McCart.
The one-time Hibernian youngster said: “It was just nice to be back on the pitch. It has been a frustrating time and it was nice to be able to help the boys at long last.
“I hadn’t played for four months and I haven’t even been able to get a reserve match because there are no games up here.
“I’ve just had to do as much as I can in training to get up to speed.
“I don’t want to tempt fate, but hopefully I can build up my minutes and keep going and kick on for the rest of the season.
“I always seem to say I’m past it and then another thing comes and bites me in the bum.
“I just want to play as many games as I can before the end of the season.”
Caley Thistle remain in second place and in a strong position to push for their best Championship finish since exiting the Premiership in May 2017.
Welsh stressed there was a great opportunity to secure success and even silverware this season.
He said: “We know second place in the league is the ambition now, even though Dundee United have slipped up lately.
“We need to try and solidify second place, because it would be massive.
“We’re still in the Scottish Cup and have Livingston next week, which will be a difficult game – they’re flying at the moment.
“We also have the semi-final of the Challenge Cup, so we still have a really good part of the season to come.
“People look at us as a club and ask why we’re letting our best players go (Coll Donaldson and Jamie McCart), but these things happen in football.
“The two lads deserved their moves. They did really well for the club and the club made a bit of money back off them in difficult circumstances financially.
“We’ve got players who are capable of stepping in and doing the same job, so we just need to move forward as a team now and look to push on and have a good end to the season.”