Ross Stewart admits he is on the sharpest of learning curves at Ross County in only his second season as a full-time pro.
But the 22-year-old striker is determined to use the experience he is gaining on a daily basis to dislodge first team mentors like Billy Mckay and Brian Graham.
The summer signing from St Mirren has had to be patient in his quest for first team action, with only three substitute appearances in the Championship so far.
But Stewart’s double against Motherwell under 21s made it three goals in two Irn-Bru Cup matches, greatly improving his chances of earning the nod in coming weeks.
Courted by the likes of Celtic and Partick Thistle as a youth, Stewart made the leap to full-time status the hard way.
After spells with junior teams Ardeer Thistle and Kilwinning Rangers, he stepped up to the senior ranks with Darren Young’s Albion Rovers in 2015, netting 13 goals in two seasons.
St Mirren swooped, but Stewart found himself a bit part player in the Buddies’ runaway title success last season and had to join Alloa on loan. There, he hit 10 goals in 23 appearances.
County’s management admit the towering youngster is a work-in-progress, but are thrilled by the strides he is taking.
Stewart, for his part, can only knock on the door when the chance arises.
He said: “It was good to start and score two goals at Motherwell but, being a cup quarter-final, the big thing was winning the tie. For me, it was a chance to impress. All I can do is try to make an impact when I come into the team.
“I always knew coming up here, with the quality there is, it would be difficult to get in the team.
“When chances like Saturday come along, you have to make the best of it. All I can do is try to put myself in the management’s thoughts.”
Despite the need for patience, Stewart certainly has no regrets about leaving Premiership-bound St Mirren in pursuit of first team opportunities.
He said: “I feel, week-by-week, my game is progressing.
“The likes of Brian Graham and Billy Mckay are very experienced so you learn off them every day in training.
“I’ve not played as much as I’d like, but in terms of how I’ve developed since coming here, I’m happy. That’s what I came here to do – improve my game.”