Ross County midfielder Tony Dingwall knows it is now or never as he tries to secure his future with his hometown club.
Dingwall is out of contract at the end of the season but has struggled to maintain a regular place since first breaking into the team two years ago.
After being recalled for County’s last two games – his first starts in nearly 12 months – Dingwall hopes to earn long-term stay with the Highlanders.
The 22-year-old said: “I have to try to do well between now and the end of the season to try to get a new deal.
“I am not letting that affect me. Whatever happens will happen. If it doesn’t work out for whatever reason I will have to move on.
“It could go either way. I have seen a lot of the players I grew up with go out of the game. There are not many, just two or three, who have gone on to bigger things.
“It’s great to get back involved in the team. I made a few substitute appearances earlier in the season and the manager told me if I did well I would stay in the team, so hopefully that can happen.
“He has spoken to me a couple of times, telling me what I need to do better. He wanted me to improve the defensive side of my game.
“I have tried to do that and hopefully I can keep doing well to stay in the team.
“Just getting back in shows my game is coming together.”
Dingwall has benefited from the influence of some of the more experienced members of the squad, but does not feel any added pressure to succeed as a local player.
He added: “It’s just the same as anyone else. The supporters treat me like any other player at the club, they are good with everyone.
“Players such as Paul Quinn and Martin Woods help me all the time.
“They point out the things I can improve on and what I am doing well and encourage me throughout the week.”
After an unbeaten run of five matches Dingwall says confidence is high in the County squad, but knows must show more ruthlessness in Saturday’s game against Aberdeen.
He added: “We are now five games unbeaten, although only one of those has been a win. We have created a lot of chances in the last couple of games.
“We just need to take our chances at crucial moments in games to put them to bed.
“Aberdeen are a very good team, but we will treat it like any other game and try to get three points.
“We played really well against St Johnstone, but probably played even better at Dundee on Saturday. The difference was we took our chances at St Johnstone, but didn’t at Dens Park.”