Declan McDaid says he feels back to his best at Dundee after his aborted loan move to Partick Thistle in January.
The Dark Blues announced the 25-year-old would be heading to Firhill for the rest of the season on January 29.
Manager James McPake revealed later that it was McDaid who asked to go out on loan to rediscover his confidence after a difficult start to his second season at Dens Park.
However, the restart of the lower leagues was delayed and McDaid remained in training with the Dark Blues.
McDaid admits it was a strange episode for him but is delighted to be back in the team and playing well.
He said: “I am buzzing to be back in and helping the boys. Hopefully I can stay there now.
“It was a bit of a strange time as obviously I thought I was going out on loan.
“My confidence had fallen and I wasn’t playing as well as I should have been.
I wasn’t hitting the standards I set myself.
“I was just wanting games and there were a few teams interested in me, including Thistle.
“I just wanted to play and get back to where I should have been which I feel I have returned to now. I am feeling good and I just want to keep it going.
“I just worked hard in training and ended up getting back in the squad at Morton.
“Football is mad sometimes how it works.”
Delay ‘worked out well’
McDaid admits the delay in restarting Leagues One and Two worked out well for him and he hopes to continue his good form against Arbroath today at Dens Park.
He said: “It worked out well for me.
“If it had been a short time before they restarted, I would have been away. Instead, I stayed here training.
“The date was pushed back and I continued training with Dundee and eventually got myself back in the squad. I still have another year at the club so I always wanted to stay.
“I just wanted to get games but when I started training better, I regained a bit of confidence and I was training really well.
“I started thinking: ‘Maybe I can stay and help the team here instead of having to go elsewhere’.
“Maybe I just had a dip in form – nothing really changed – but it has obviously turned for me and I am doing what I am capable of.”
No McCall contact
McDaid had a successful time under current Partick boss Ian McCall while at Ayr United, winning League One and reaching the Premiership play-offs.
However, the winger says there has been no contact from his former boss over the cancelled loan move.
“No, as he understands that I am a Dundee player and I will be here next year,” said McDaid.
“Obviously I want to stay here and play – which I am doing now – rather than go out.”
‘Massive week for the club’
Now back in contention for a starting spot at Dundee, McDaid is keen to help the side pick up points in a “massive week” for their season.
He has good memories of facing today’s opponents Arbroath at Dens last season from grabbing both goals in a 2-0 win in October 2019.
He’d like to repeat that feat but also has an eye on Tuesday’s clash with Ayr and a trip to Alloa coming on Friday night.
McDaid added: “It is a massive week for the club.
“We got a point at Morton with a much better second half and then I came in against Inverness and we picked up a good win.
“Saturday (against Hearts) wasn’t a great game from both teams but in the second half we played really well and had enough chances to win the game.
“We are playing well so we have to try to get maximum points out of these games if we can.”
On his double against the Red Lichties last season, he added: “That’s always in the back of my mind when we play Arbroath.
“Even when I was at Ayr, we won a few times against them.
“So hopefully I can do the same today, win the game and get three points.”