Eamonn Brophy believes his St Mirren career is just getting up and running after injury ruined last season.
After signing from Kilmarnock in January, initially on loan, the 25-year-old Scotland international played just six times for Jim Goodwin’s team before a long-standing problem was diagnosed as a foot fracture.
Brophy returned to fitness at the end of last season and featured in the Buddies’ Scottish Cup semi-final defeat to St Johnstone and the final Premiership game of the campaign against Dundee United.
After Premier Sports Cup games against Dunfermline and Stenhousemuir, Brophy is ready to motor on in the final Group H game against Partick Thistle on Sunday where the Paisley side, with nine points from nine, are looking to clinch qualification.
He said of his Saints career to date: “It hasn’t really started to be honest with you.
“Last season was probably the worst season I have had for a number of years, I didn’t play a lot of games through the injury and it has made me more hungry.
“I broke my foot back when I was at Kilmarnock. I was playing with that for six months which affected my performances.
“I was taking painkillers every day to get through training and games which obviously wasn’t good.
“When I came here it was a matter of weeks I knew it wasn’t right and it was picked up.
“I was glad to get it sorted but it is a season I want to put behind me and get back to doing what I know I can do.
“It is good for me to get a full pre-season under my belt and hopefully that can help the team as well.”
Motherwell were stung by their 2-0 midweek loss to Lanarkshire rivals Airdrieonians but boss Graham Alexander stressed the importance of keeping the Premier Sports Cup Group F defeat in perspective.
Ahead of the home game against Annan Athletic on Saturday, he said: “I don’t want to over-egg it, it was a bad result, it was a bad performance.
“But we didn’t kill anyone so have to keep it in perspective.
“We want to win tomorrow’s game for every reason we always try to win a game, to validate the work we put in every day, the responsibility we have of representing Motherwell, the fans, our team mates, families, all those stakeholders in our careers and we take those responsibilities seriously.
“But we have to focus on the game in front of us and not the game behind us and I would say that even if we win 3-0.”
Alexander will be without midfielder Dean Cornelius who picked up a knee injury on Wednesday but revealed reinforcements are on their way.
He said: “Before next week we hope to have two more players in which will strengthen us. We need to get them in as soon as possible and then we need to see if they are ready to play games.”
Elsewhere, Dundee, also with nine out of nine, host second-placed Forfar Athletic who are one point behind.
Also in Group C, Ross County are at home to Montrose, while in Group D, Cowdenbeath travel to Livingston.