Dara Costelloe believes his Scottish football baptism of fire will stand him in good stead for the remainder of his season-long loan at St Johnstone.
The 20-year-old Irish striker joined Saints from Burnley in mid-August and his first three outings for the Perth club have been against the big two of Celtic and Rangers either side of a home match against Tayside rivals Dundee.
Ahead of another big game away to Hibernian in the cinch Premiership on Saturday, Costelloe insisted such high-intensity fixtures will only help speed up his adaptation to the Scottish game.
“I’ve quite enjoyed being thrown in at the deep end,” he said. “It gives you a feel of the league straightaway, which is a good thing. You always learn more by being thrown in at the deep end, which I love.
“I’m really enjoying it so far. The lads have been great with me, they’ve put their arms around me and helped me settle in.”
Costelloe made six appearances for Burnley’s first team last year and then spent the second half of last season on loan at Bradford. He feels his temporary move to the Scottish top flight can help accelerate his progress.
“I think it’s going to be a big part of my development as a player,” he said. “I’m looking to get games under my belt, try to do as well as I can, help the team out and hopefully get a few goals and assists.”
Saints are bottom of the league and still waiting for their first win of the season but Costelloe, who has helped them to two draws in their last three games, feels Steven MacLean’s side are starting to find their feet.
“We’ve got a lot of good players here but we’re a young group and there are a lot of players who are new to each other,” the striker explained.
“The team’s only just starting to gel and I think we’ll do very well this year. I think there’s a lot to come from us.
“Everyone here knows what we’re capable of but we’re just waiting for it to click. We’re still learning how to feed off each other. It’s just going to take some time but we definitely have the quality.”
Costelloe is hoping they can notch their first victory against Hibs at Easter Road this weekend.
“We’re going to try and take the game to them and hopefully get something out of it,” he said. “It’s a huge game but hopefully we can get some points on the board.”
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