Jamie Gullan insists he now feels ready to spark his “stop-start” Hibernian career into life.
The 22-year-old academy graduate made his debut three years ago under Neil Lennon but has struggled to nail down a regular place in the Easter Road attack.
Gullan has made 34 appearances for Hibs but only five as a starter, and has had three spells on loan at Raith Rovers during that time.
The striker, who has scored three times for the Hibees, was close to moving on in the summer in order to get game time but has worked hard to force his way back into Jack Ross’s thoughts over the past few weeks.
He was rewarded with his first start for the club in 10 months at Aberdeen last weekend and then came on as a substitute in the midweek defeat by Celtic.
Gullan said: “It’s been a bit stop-start for me. When I broke through a few years ago, it was a great learning experience for me to be around so many good players.
“I was picking up new things day in, day out and I’ve also had a few loan spells where I’ve learned new things and I now feel like I am ready to get in this team.”
With Hibs on a run of four consecutive defeats as they prepare to face Ross County in Dingwall on Saturday, and attackers Christian Doidge and James Scott currently out of contention, Gullan knows he must make the most of his current opportunity.
He said: “It means a lot to be back in amongst the team. It’s tough when you’re not playing and you’re on the sidelines watching when you feel you can play a part.
“I’ve worked really hard to get back to the position I’m in now where I can be selected and get to play a part. I’ll continue to do that and hopefully the starts come.
“It was apparent in pre-season that game time would be limited. I had to take that on board and try and show the manager that I’m not here to sit about, that I want to be playing here, and I feel I’ve done that. I’m delighted to be back in this position.
“It’s a crucial period for me to try and show what I can do. Even when the injured boys come back, I need to keep pushing away to show everyone what I can do when I’m on the pitch or in training.
“We’re not in the best run of form at the moment. All it could take is a goal or a lucky bounce here or there to get a win, and we can start getting back up the table.
“If I’m the one on the end of it, scoring that goal, then brilliant. But whoever it is, we just need to get back to winning games.”