Ryan Bowman has had to show great determination in his year-and-a-half spell with Motherwell.
The English forward completed a deadline day move from National League side Gateshead to the Scottish Premiership in the summer of 2016.
But Ryan didn’t immediately make the strides that had seen him score on a regular basis in England, notching only two goals during a campaign that could have easily derailed the striker.
Now he’s a changed man – and he says it is all down to his hard work and determination to make his stint in Scotland a success.
“I had to meet and speak with the gaffer quite a lot over the summer because I knew there were other strikers coming in,” he said.
“Because I didn’t have my best season last year, it was safe to say my place in the team was likely in doubt.
[pullquote]But I wasn’t going to roll over and give up just like that. I wanted to prove that I deserved to be at a club like Motherwell and that I could make my move here work out for everyone.[/pullquote]
Having already trebled his goal tally in claret and amber this term, it’s safe to say that Stephen Robinson and Ryan’s choices have certainly been vindicated.
The forward now faces a different challenge over the coming weeks though, with news of Louis Moult’s injury meaning ‘Well’s number 12 is without his strike partner who, between them, have struck 20 goals in all competitions.
“Losing Moulty to injury is a huge loss for us, everyone’s aware of that,” he said.
“But we’ve shown this season that we’ve got quality all over the park as near enough every outfield player scored on our way to the Betfred Cup final.
“We need more of that now, and with a lot of games coming up we know just how important it is to get back to winning ways and to try and find some momentum again.
“I’ve improved my game in front of goal and I hope to continue that. While I want to do that for the club and for my own game, I also want to do it for the manager who has shown me he’s willing to believe in me.”
The important meetings he had with Robinson didn’t come to an end after the summer window. They still happen regularly, as the Fir Park boss works hard to keep all of his players motivated and hard-working.
In particular, Ryan found himself having a number of talks with the ‘Well boss following a high-profile collision with Rangers centre back Fabio Cardoso in the Betfred Cup semi final.
“It was a lot to take to be honest,” the striker reflected. “After that moment there was a lot of people talking about me and looking at my style of play.
“I’m not a malicious player but suddenly that’s how everyone viewed me and it started to affect my game a bit.
“The gaffer told me that if I allowed that to be the case that I’d be a waste of space and that is the sort of thing that could knock you down even more if you let it.
“But I’m not thinking about it like that, instead I’ve used that to motivate me and every day I try my best to make sure I work as hard as I can for the manager and the team.”
With his sights now set on Partick Thistle on Wednesday night, the forward added: “After Saturday’s defeat to Hearts we’ve all had to regroup straight away to turn our attentions to the game mid-week.
“It’s going to be another important match and we’re all confident, as well as determined, to get back to winning ways.”