Cammy Smith plans to be firing on all cylinders for Dundee United as they plot a route to promotion through the play-offs.
The 23-year-old won the Championship last season with St Mirren and is bidding for a second promotion in two years with his new side.
After six weeks on the sidelines with injury, Smith made his return to the side at Cappielow on Saturday and plans to be in full flow for the promotion hunt.
The attacker was one of six changes to the starting XI by manager Robbie Neilson as he wants to have as many players as possible vying for places for next week’s play-off clashes.
With Smith having been out of the team lately, he knows he has to be at his best whenever he gets a chance to stay in the team.
He said: “We’ve got good quality and there’s competition so if you’re not at it, there will be somebody else to come in.
“We have good options in the attacking positions but the manager has strengthened in every position so there’s competition all over the pitch.
“We need to turn up and need to be at it in the play-offs for the result to happen.
“With the way the manager works, we’ll be ready come the play-offs and the 18-man squad will be raring to go.”
Smith feels he played well on his return to action and went closer than any United player to preventing Morton running out 1-0 winners as he rattled the crossbar in the second half.
The defeat brought an end to the Tangerines’ run of wins that had stretched to three and six in their previous eight games.
Losing that run wasn’t ideal but Smith says the only thing that matters is getting through the play-offs in the next fortnight.
He added: “As a team we wanted to win the game and carry momentum into the play-offs but the manager made a few changes.
“Personally, I’m glad to get my first game in six weeks after my injury. I felt as good as I could be and felt I did OK.
“Now it’s about gearing up for the play-offs and getting ready for them.
“The play-offs are the be all and end all, no matter what happened on Saturday.
“It would have been nice to get the win at Morton but we can take positives from that game.
“It might not have been the ideal performance but we worked hard – now we move on to next week.”
Having returned to the fold, Smith is keen to “kick on” after a spell on the sidelines where he’s had to sit and be patient as United put together one of their best runs of form of the season.
However, his latest injury gave him the chance to settle a more long-standing issue at the same time.
He said: “I had a tendon tear in my hamstring but I’ve also had an ongoing hernia problem so I managed to fix that at the same time and do two at once.
“I’ve had to be patient and it’s been frustrating but I’ve worked hard with the physios. They’ve been brilliant and I need to keep pushing now.
“It was good to play Saturday but now I need to kick on again.
“The team has done well lately but I still felt part of it.
“What I’ve had to do is basically be a bit selfish and concentrate on myself these past few weeks and get myself right so I can be as good as I can be for the play-offs.”
The Tangerines will be watching on with interest tonight as Ayr host Inverness in the first of the play-off matches with United awaiting the winner.
Smith, though, doesn’t mind who it is.
“We’ll be watching the quarter-finals to see whether we face Ayr or Inverness.
“Playing either will be hard, we know that, but it’s all about us and, if we prepare right, we’ll be ready to go.”