Mark O’Hara is determined to vindicate manager Graham Alexander’s faith by proving he can be a big player for Motherwell after a frustrating year so far.
The former Dundee and Peterborough midfielder was out for the best part of three months with concussion after playing in Alexander’s first game in charge in January.
The 25-year-old scored a winner against Hamilton in April and then suffered a minor knock, and his hopes of a fresh start were hit when he sustained a hamstring issue in Motherwell’s first pre-season encounter.
But O’Hara returned off the bench in last weekend’s Premier Sports Cup defeat by Dundee and is looking for more action when his team face Livingston in the cinch Premiership on Saturday.
“I had worked really hard off-season and it was unfortunate, I went to run right away and my hamstring went,” he said.
“I am someone who has never really had any problems throughout my career and it’s been testing for me this year.
“I love football, I live and breathe it. When I go home that’s all I think about it.
“It has been very frustrating but I am putting in the hard work over the last few weeks to get back to full fitness.
“We played a closed-door game the other day and I was surprised at how good I was feeling, so I am raring to go.
“It’s time for me to kick on now and play a big part this season. The way the manager has spoken to me, he sees me as a big player.
“Personally I always look to prove that I’m more than capable of being one of the top players and someone he can trust, and from the conversations I have had with him, he knows that.
“I just want to help the team now. There is nothing worse than watching and not being a part of it.”
O’Hara has played all over defence and midfield during his career and is now keen to get a run of games in his preferred position.
“The manager says he sees me as a box-to-box midfielder,” he said. “Since I have been here I have been unfortunate that other players have been injured and I have not really had a run in that position.
“But that’s where he wants to use me and that’s where I see myself so hopefully he can get the best out of me.
“I am someone who likes to get in the box and score goals and contribute up that end of the pitch so hopefully I can start that off on Saturday.”
Alexander has been delighted to have O’Hara’s presence back in training.
“He has had a frustrating time and it’s been frustrating for us as well because we know he’s a talented lad,” Alexander said.
“But he has looked good in training and it’s great to have him back because he is one of those energy-givers. He is enthusiastic, always training at full pelt.
“We have got a few boys like that who we love having around.”
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