Dundee new boy Phil Roberts is grateful to get a second bite at top-flight football.
Bombed out at Falkirk by boss Gary Holt in March, the future looked bleak for the former Arsenal youngster.
But, within days, the Dark Blues showed an interest in taking the ex-Inverness attacker on.
From the minute he spoke to manager Paul Hartley, Roberts was in no doubt about where he’d be playing his football next season.
And he insists he’s keen to turn over a new leaf.
“I need to use this as a new start,” said Roberts, who signed a two-year deal.
“I want to develop as a player at Dundee.
“Paul is very honest and straight forward with his goals.
“When I met him, Hamilton were top of the table but he told me then Dundee would win the league.
“He’s a man who wants to move forward and play good football he has drive.
“It was an easy decision to make after meeting him.”
Despite playing a major role for the Bairns in their promotion push, Roberts had a falling out with his manager.
Two red cards later, in successive matches, and he saw his contract cancelled by the play-off hopefuls.
It was a harsh lesson to learn for any young footballer. But Roberts has dispelled the bad-boy tag some have given him.
“It’s a situation I don’t ever see myself being in again,” said the 20-year-old.
“I’m happy in a way that it happened when I was 19 years old.
“I’ve experienced a lot in my short footballing career.
“In the long run, the whole episode will stand me in good stead, I’m sure.”
Former Scotland midfielder Holt, hoping to also guide his team to the top flight via the play-offs, was scathing in his criticism of Roberts on his departure.
The ex-Norwich City man described Roberts behaviour as “cowardly”.
Roberts admits he is disappointed with the language used by his former gaffer. But he holds nothing against him.
“I think it was a bit harsh I’m not a coward,” said Roberts.
“If you went back and asked anyone at the club, I’m sure they wouldn’t say I was cowardly.
“I don’t hold anything against Gary for what he said.
“Football is at times an emotional game and that can spill over.”
Robert’s does admit he has a point to prove at Dens Park.
And he’s determined to put the episode behind him and move on with his new club.
Roberts said: “This has given me purpose.
“I’ve sorted my head out from last season after leaving Falkirk.
“When I left there you kind of wonder what you’re going to do but now I’ve moved on.
“That’s football. Things like that happen between players and managers.
“You can’t think about it moving forward.
“It hasn’t stuck with me it won’t affect me as a player.
“It’s something I will definitely learn from, though.”
Often players can be waiting weeks and months to find out where they will be plying their trade after leaving a club. Football is such a transient business that way.
So Roberts, now at his fifth club, is delighted to be fixed up so early.
He added: “Last year when I left Arsenal, I went on trial for a few clubs but nothing got sorted.
“I was at Crystal Palace, Colchester, Wycombe. It was good to get experience but I had no security.
“It’s good to know where you are going to be so early in the summer.”