Ross County play their final game of November at St Mirren today, but goalkeeper Nathan Baxter’s season has only just begun.
Englishman Baxter is fit again after completing his rehabilitation from a shoulder operation which he underwent just weeks after making the season-long loan move from Chelsea in the summer.
After playing in a 4-1 victory for County’s reserves away to Greenock Morton last week Baxter is now ready to be pitched into Premiership action, even if it comes later than he had anticipated.
Baxter said: “For me, it feels like the start of the season. It feels like I have had my pre-season, I have had a few weeks training with the lads and I played in the reserve game last week.
“It’s not a nice feeling signing for a club, and then getting injured pretty much straight away before anything has happened.
“It has been a long, frustrating three months or so, but these things happen in football.
“I had an issue where I needed an operation on my shoulder. It’s a fairly standard operation, and I have come back in good time.
“I now don’t have to worry about it at all – it’s as good as new if not better than before. There is no doubt in my mind about any injury.
“I’m fully ready to go, and looking forward to getting on the pitch and showing the County fans what I can do.”
Despite suffering relegation from English League Two during a loan stint with Yeovil Town last year, Baxter claimed a clean sweep of all five player of the years awards.
The 21-year-old is determined to make a similar impact with the Staggies, adding: “I’m very much keen to continue with the form I have been in over the last few years. I have felt like I’ve had a big impact in the dressing room at every team I have been at, even though I’m a young player.
“I try and bring that positive energy. I haven’t been a part of any of the defeats, so I’m coming in fresh, excited and doing my best to make a positive impact.
“This is my fifth loan now, so I understand how it works. From my point of view, the way I have made them all work positive is by seeing myself as a player from that club.
“As I said before, I very much see myself as a County player now. I will wear my heart on my sleeve, and care as much as any lad who is contracted here.
“All the fans at previous clubs I have played for have appreciated that. I have seen that, with the way the supporters have voted me player of the year at a number of clubs I have been at.
“That’s something I will always try and bring, but first and foremost I’m here to keep the ball out of the net and give good performances.”
Fellow summer arrival Ross Laidlaw has been first choice throughout the campaign so far but Baxter is ready to compete with the former Hibernian goalkeeper.
Baxter added: “At every club I have been at there has been competition for my place. The biggest thing I have learned is just to concentrate on my performances.
“If I train well every day, and I produce for the team at the weekend, that’s how you play football games.”