Rhys Healey’s attitude towards his loan spell at Dundee is probably best summed up in four words — desperate to do well.
The young Englishman made his first start for the Dark Blues in Saturday’s battling draw with Hamilton Accies at New Douglas Park.
And if he continues to play the way he did on the slippery plastic in Lanarkshire, and adds a few goals, the 20-year-old will head back to parent club Cardiff City in January with his target hit.
Healey’s strength and movement against Accies were impressive as he battled against a home defence that was both powerful and well organised.
He was substituted late in the game as Dundee tried to hold on, as it turned out unsuccessfully, to a 1-0 lead.
That surely, though, had more to do with manager Paul Hartley’s desire to improve his team’s ball retention by sending on another midfielder in the shape of Nicky Low than a flaw in Healey’s performance.
And although the youngster himself was not entirely happy with how things went, he does admit he hopes he’s given manager Paul Hartley a selection headache when he sits down to put together his attack for this weekend’s clash with Killie.
“I was quite happy with how things went and, obviously, it was good to get my first start since coming up here,” he said.
“Hamilton are big and strong at the back but they are not the quickest, so we had worked on moving into the channels and I think that went well.
“What disappointed me was I had a couple of good chances and didn’t take them. Other bits of your game can be good but, as a striker, you always want to be scoring.
“If you don’t score in a game, you will never be entirely happy.”
The Mancunian is being a touch harsh on himself there because, on a synthetic surface that at times can resemble an ice rink, anything bar a tap in from a few feet out should not be classed as a good chance.
And even if Kane Hemmings has recovered from a Friday training knock that ruled him out and elevated Healey to Saturday’s starting line-up, his temporary gaffer definitely has a decision to make concerning who starts alongside Greg Stewart and Rory Loy in attack this weekend.
It should also be remembered Healey did not have the usual time to prepare for his full debut.
“I didn’t know until Friday when Kane got injured that I would be starting,” he added.
“For me, if I’m not starting, it’s about pushing the boys who are hard.”
He also did that by working hard during the international break and grabbing a couple of goals in the Development League win over Partick Thistle a couple of weeks back.
“It was good to get those goals and the two weeks without a break were good because it helped me get to know the boys here a bit better.
“The other side of these breaks is you don’t have a first-team game and, after coming off the bench, I just wanted the games to keep coming.”
Like many players coming up from down south, Saturday saw him experience competitive football on an artificial pitch for the first time.
As his manager did after the game, he refused to use it as an excuse for Dundee failing to see out the match.
It’s clear, though, he prefers playing on grass.
“I have trained a lot on these pitches but that was the first time I’d played a real game on one. At Cardiff all our matches are on grass.”