Jamie Lindsay spent the summer longing to exorcise the demons of last season – and remember what it feels like to win football matches.
The Ross County permanent signing from Celtic feels he is one of a group of players at Dingwall with a point to prove after a poor last campaign ended in relegation to the Championship.
Amid extraordinary managerial upheaval, both Jim McIntyre and Owen Coyle lost their jobs during losing streaks and a spate of unconvincing performances.
Having almost forgotten that winning feeling amid the turmoil, Lindsay feels energised by the opportunity to start afresh with a replenished squad and new management team.
Preparing for Saturday’s League Cup group stages opener at home to Elgin City, the 22-year-old midfielder said: “The main thing is everyone being ready for the league starting, but the League Cup matches are games you desperately want to play in – and win.
“Especially what we went through last season, getting beaten on a regular basis, I just want to get rid of that feeling of coming in at full time and thinking ‘we’ve lost again’.
“We never really got started last season, so hopefully on Saturday we can start getting a different feel to it – coming in after a game knowing how it feels to win a football match.
“Then we can start building confidence through winning games and, before you know it, you’re flying.”
The pall of gloom from last season has quickly lifted under co-managers Stuart Kettlewell and Steven Ferguson but Lindsay believes momentum early in the campaign will be key.
He said: “Last season was disappointing, obviously, but I think this season everyone feels there is a chance to do something – for the town, the club and everyone here.
“Hopefully, everyone can come together and get behind us if we start well. Everyone here feels positive.
“I hope we can have a good year and be successful.
“Our last competitive game was against St Johnstone, which ended horribly, so just to get back out there and play in a proper game will be nice.
“As a club and team, we have a point to prove. We were relegated and we want to show we’re better than that.
“It is done now but the only thing we can do to change it is try and get back up. Hopefully, we can start off on Saturday with a win.”