Jason Thomson admitted that he has rediscovered his confidence after relinquishing the Raith Rovers captaincy in the summer.
The right back skippered the side for four years and experienced highs and lows during his tenure, with a promotion play-off followed by relegation last season.
Sitting in the dressing room after the play-off defeat to Brechin, the armband must have like a ring of cement around his arm, and after deciding to stay at the club in the summer, it was time for someone else to pick up the mantle, and for Thomson to refocus on his own game.
“There will be a million reasons people will assume why, but it was just me and the manager agreeing that it was maybe a wee bit less pressure that I needed,” he told the Press.
“I loved being captain and did it for four years, but, ultimately, I was the captain when the club was relegated, which isn’t a nice thing and comes with a lot of negativity
“It was just good to still be involved at the club, but after a chat with manager, we both agreed it was best if the captaincy went elswhere.
‘‘I think at the moment it’s working in my favour, and the team’s as well.”
Thomson has always been a steady performer at right back, but he is enjoying a particularly rich vein of form this season, with four goals to his name as well as helping the side to one of the best defensive records in Scotland.
“I’m doing better than last season anyway, but it’s easy to say that,” he said.
“I’m playing with a lot more confidence. The manager believes in me, and wants me to get forward, which is my game – and I’m steering clear of injury at the moment which is always a bonus.
“I’m having a good run of games, and I’m happy to have chipped in with a goal or two and contribute to the team.”
Thomson, who turned 30 in the summer, has been at the club since 2012 and Stark’s Park has become a second home, so much so that he had no intention of leaving despite the wage cuts that followed relegation last term.
“Like anyone, I didn’t want to leave and finish my time like that,” he said. “I didn’t want my last hurrah to be going out with relegation.
“Of course I wanted to stay here and get the club back up, and personally, that’s a big motivating factor for myself this season.”
Thomson was speaking after the 1-0 win over East Fife on Saturday, which he admitted was a scrappy affair.
“I think the whole game was very scrappy,” he said. “I don’t think anybody had a decent passage of play.
“They probably had more of the ball, second half especially, but it probably wasn’t a great game to watch.
“It wasn’t terribly great to play in, but we’ve got to take the positives that it’s a win and a clean sheet.
“It speaks for itself that we’re able to grind out results like that which could be massive come the end of the season.”