Mark O’Hara admits it’s been a tough time waiting for his chance – but hopes his role in the 1-0 win over Kilmarnock has done enough to cement a spot in Motherwell’s midfield, writes Stuart McFarlane.
The 24-year-old has endured a rough road with injury since his arrival at Fir Park on loan from Peterborough United, playing only half an hour in the claret and amber until Saturday.
But he was drafted into the Steelmen’s midfield in Ayrshire on Saturday and responded with an assured performance as Jake Carroll’s fine second half free-kick goal earned the visitors a vital win which elevated them to third place in the Scottish Premiership.
Ex-Killie player O’Hara told the Times and Speaker: “It’s been very frustrating because I’ve been trying to get into a team that’s been playing so well and I’ve had an injury that’s affected me for the last seven or eight weeks.
“It was tough watching it from the sidelines, the boys have been doing well and I just wanted to be part of it so thankfully I got out there and I’m hoping for more appearances as the games go on.
“It’s always a tough place to come at Kilmarnock and we knew it was going to be a difficult game.
“The manager’s instructions before the game were just about winning the game, it might be ugly and it wasn’t pretty but the team showed good grit to pull out the win.”
The midfielder was returning to an old stomping ground after a previous spell with Kilmarnock and made his mark on his return to Rugby Park by winning the foul which lead to Carroll’s 67th minute goal.
O’Hara added: “I left here fine on good terms so it wasn’t about revenge, it was more a massive win for us in the sense we keep pushing up the table.”
And O’Hara revealed that he could have stolen Carroll’s thunder and hit the free-kick winner himself!
He said: “I’d actually been practising my free-kicks this week in training and I was actually hoping that I’d get the shout for it!
“But I’ve got no complaints, it was my first game so I’m in no position to be grabbing the ball and what a free-kick it was.
“It just shows you the quality that Jake has.”
It was an important win for the Steelmen to restore the confidence after the disappointing home reverse to Rangers, which had arrested the progress of three straight wins.
O’Hara believes the win demonstrates the squad’s character.
He added: “It’s been a couple of times now that any setback we’ve had we’ve bounced straight back so I think that proves we’ve got something special here.”