Chris Cadden discovered Friday nights out were not all they are cracked up to be during a difficult four-month absence from the Motherwell first team.
The Scotland international struggled to adapt to life without match action after suffering a knee tendon injury in November.
Seeing his twin brother Nicky preparing for games with Livingston and loan club Ayr, and then watching his team-mates play, did little to ease his suffering on the sidelines.
But he channelled the frustration to come back with a bang and help Motherwell continue their good form with a 3-0 win over St Johnstone on Saturday after coming off the bench with the game goalless.
The 22-year-old said: “It was a tough time. During the week was difficult but I found Saturdays the worst.
“For my full life, every weekend I have had a game until those last four months. It was hard to adjust to that. Especially with my brother going through his pre-match routine on a Friday night.
“My Friday nights were free and I could go out with my mates or go out for dinner and do what I want but it was weird, I didn’t like it at all. Then getting up Saturday morning and not going through my usual pre-match routine was difficult and weird.
“Then coming to the games was hard for me. I was always supporting the boys and delighted to see them doing so well but it was difficult and it gave me extra motivation to come back, and come back better and try and get on the park.
“If they get beat you were wishing you were out there to help them and when you win you go in the changing room and everyone is buzzing and you are in a sort of a lull. I missed the ups and downs of football.”
Cadden is hoping to be part of a major high this week as Motherwell push for an unlikely top-six finish in the Ladbrokes Premiership. They effectively need Hibernian to lose twice while beating Aberdeen and Rangers themselves.
Cadden was on the bench as Motherwell won late on at Pittodrie to take second place from Aberdeen in 2014 and he hopes a similar never-say-die attitude can prevail.
“That was one of the best days of my life, it was unbelievable,” he said. “We showed great spirit. Nobody gave us a chance of finishing second that year and we managed to do it. So why can’t we finish top six?
“Obviously we need a couple of other results to go our way but we will do whatever we can.”
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