Chris Erskine has described much of his three-year spell at Dundee United as a “nightmare”.
And even his slim hopes of leaving Tannadice in style were left in tatters after the weekend’s Scottish Cup loss to Hibs.
“I would have loved the chance to sign off at United at a Scottish Cup final,” said Erskine.
“It would have been the perfect end really. That’s what I had been hoping for over the last few months.
“I have not been involved at all recently but I was thrown in, so to be involved in a final would have been the right way to sign off at United.
“Unfortunately, things haven’t quite worked out that way.”
It’s fair to say it’s been an up-and-down spell for 29-year-old Erskine since his arrival in July 2013.
A disastrous first campaign saw the midfielder go full circle and return, on loan, to former club Partick Thistle.
A decent spell after his return from Firhill then saw him become a regular at United, before even that brief first-team run was ended by an injury at the start of this season.
And just when he was fit enough to come into the reckoning at United, he signed a pre-contract with the Jags. A move which Erskine himself believes has impact heavily on his chances in the team since.
“My first year here was a nightmare,” he said.
“Then I ended up on loan. The second year I feel like I had a good year, then the injury at the start of this year has killed me.
“When I came back from that I signed for Thistle, so as a result I found myself out the team again.
“Overall, take out the one good season, my time at United has been pretty disappointing.
“I don’t regret moving here but it’s fair to say it just hasn’t worked out for me at all.”
Erskine was a shock inclusion in Mixu Paatelainen’s starting XI at Hampden Park for Saturday’s Scottish Cup semi-final.
The midfielder had not started a game for United since January.
He admits he was just as taken aback as anyone else.
Erskine said: “It was a surprise. I was just working hard and doing the things I always do, whether I am playing or not.
“The manager told me later in the week I was playing and it shocked me as much as anyone. I think I deserve to play.”
Reflecting back on Saturday’s penalty defeat, Erskine says he was distraught to lose in the manner they did.
“It was a heartbreaker for all of us,” he said.
“We had better chances after the penalty.
“We passed the ball a wee bit and created things, which is what we failed to before the penalty.
“That’s why we feel like we should have won it. We had better chances in the 90 minutes.
“Looking back that makes the situation even harder to take.”
One thing United or their players could not have legislated for was the performance of Hibs’ debutant Conrad Logan.
The keeper made three crucial saves in normal time before stepping up to the plate in the penalty shootout, saving both Blair Spittal’s opening effort and later Billy Mckay’s spot-kick.
“One of the things we said before the game was that we needed to test the keeper,” said Erskine.
“It was his first game but he didn’t show it.
“He passed that test with flying colours and was probably the difference on the day.”