Everton winger Aiden McGeady has revealed that Roberto Martinez has managed to return him back to his best form by giving him more freedom on the pitch.
The tricky winger said he was taking the safe option too often when he first joined the club, but Martinez's constant encouragement of him has brought out the best in him and he is hoping to push on now.
"Last season I was coming on and getting five, 10, 15 minutes here and there," he said to the club's official site. "This season I have felt more settled and part of the team. The more comfortable you become with your surroundings, the more you will play with freedom.
“The manager and coaching staff have been great in saying that to me. They have given me pointers here and there about expressing myself and that’s what I’ve tried to do when I’ve been on the pitch.
“There were times last season when I was probably more concerned about not giving the ball away rather than taking a chance and doing what I was supposed to do.
“They have been very vocal and positive with me about that – they have been saying it doesn’t matter how many times I give the ball away, if I create a chance and we score from it then that’s the main thing.
“It’s about being more expressive and positive with my play.”
McGeady has the ability to be a match-winner at any level, but when he first joined there were times were he appeared on the periphery of games too often.
His inconsistency meant that he had to be utilised as an impact substitute, rather than a regular starter, but this season he is becoming one of the first names on the team sheet.
There can be no doubting McGeady's ability as a player, but a move to Russia seemed to do little for his development and it has taken him a while to get used to playing back at the top-level.
Now he has, he looks an astute purchase from Martinez, whose reputation as a manager is continuing to improve.
McGeady has been one of the most impressive performers of the Toffees' season so far and his increasing confidence will only have grown after the international break.
The 28-year-old scored both goals in the Republic of Ireland's 2-1 win over Georgia in Euro 2016 qualifying and he will be hoping to build on that display now he is back in club colours.
Everton take on West Bromwich Albion this weekend and if they are to get their first three points of the season then McGeady is likely to be key.