Ross County manager John Hughes feels winger Jermaine Hylton has grasped the fresh start he has been handed with the Staggies.
Englishman Hylton joined County from Motherwell in October, following the departure of fellow winger Josh Mullin to Livingston.
Hylton had enjoyed a successful season with the Steelmen last year after making the move from Solihull Moors in 2019, netting four goals in 36 games to help the Fir Park club to a third-placed finish in the Premiership.
After making the switch to County the 28-year-old did not start a league match under previous manager Stuart Kettlewell, but has been a regular fixture in the side since Hughes took charge last month.
Hylton netted his first goal for the Dingwall men in Saturday’s 4-1 win over Aberdeen, and Hughes feels he is enjoying a new lease of life.
Hughes said: “Jermaine has found right good form. From the minute I came in, from speaking to the coaches at the first training session, he was one that caught my eye with his enthusiasm.
“The coaches said it wasn’t always like that, but it is now so he has set a standard.
“From the way he gets about people and the way he looks after the ball, he has never really dropped since that. He has been different class.
“I think he is one that has benefitted from a new manager coming in, and a new lease of life. He has grasped it.
“It’s up to him. It goes back to consistency. It’s all right doing it one week, and he got his reward on Saturday when I thought he was outstanding and he got his goal. Can he now go and do it at Ibrox now – if he’s selected?”
The Staggies’ impressive victory over the Dons was only their second home league victory, but it continued a recent upturn in form which has seen them take seven points from a possible 12.
Having now moved off the foot of the table ahead of Saturday’s trip to leaders Rangers, Hughes has challenged his side to maintain that level of performance in the coming weeks.
Hughes added: “We enjoyed the weekend but it was back to work on Monday.
“We are where we are for a reason. You don’t get too far in front of yourself. There is plenty of hard work for us.
“Someone mentioned the word consistency after the game. It’s not so much consistency of results I’m looking for, it’s consistency in performance.
“I’ve seen boys do some wonderful things on the training pitch, and they are now starting to take that onto the field of play.
“I want that week in and week out. The consistency of performance will bring results.
“Every game is different. One week it goes for you, then the next week it’s a different game and it might not go for you.
“The same values in terms of your work ethic and what you are doing for the team, that’s the fundamentals that you should play every game on.”
Hughes feels he is getting the desired response from his players but insists he is paying little attention to the table.
He added: “I think it will go right down to the wire, but I honestly don’t get caught up in all that.
“I just focus on the football and concentrate my team. I can’t influence anything else. I tell them what is required and what I expect.
“The messages are clear and you don’t overload them and let them express themselves. I am seeing a change. I saw it on the training pitch and now they are implementing it on the park.
“We have lost one in the last four and I see that momentum coming and that confidence comes from winning.”