Glasgow Rangers striker Zak Rudden hopes his loan spell at Plymouth Argyle is finally up and running properly.
The 19-year-old grabbed his first goal for the Pilgrims in the 3-0 Leasing.com Trophy victory over Swindon Town at the County Ground on Tuesday night.
Rudden made his ninth appearance for Argyle, but only his third start, and put them ahead in the Southern Group F game.
He did so ahead with a superb far post header across after a cross from skipper Gary Sawyer.
Rudden said: “I have been desperate to score a goal. I have had a couple of chances I have not put away.
“So to get that one has just kind of kicked me on and hopefully I can go on from now.”
Rudden suffered a knee injury at the start of pre-season at Rangers and even after signing on loan for Argyle towards the end of August he did not feel 100 per cent fit.
That led to him returning to the Scottish Premiership club to have the knee assessed.
However, he was given the all clear to return to training at the start of last week and then played as a substitute in the 2-2 draw with Scunthorpe United at Home Park in League Two.
Now, after getting his first goal for the club, he hopes to retain place for Argyle’s return visit to the County Ground, this time to play Swindon in the league, on Saturday.
Rudden said: “It has been frustrating being out injured for, I don’t know, 12 weeks or something.
“I’m finally up and running, scoring my goal, and hopefully that gets me in the team and gets me a wee run
“Hopefully, I have done enough to show that I could play on Saturday.”
Rudden added: “I have had a difficult start (at Argyle). I got thrown in and I wasn’t 100 per cent myself.
“I like getting thrown in. You have not got time to think, you have just got to react.
“To be fair, I could feel myself not 100 per cent right but I just wanted to keep going.
“I have never been really injured before, a serious one like that, so I just thought it was part and parcel of coming back from that.”
Rudden played for 71 minutes against Swindon and had a number of other scoring chances before he was replaced by substitute Ryan Taylor.
He said: “I had a wee problem with my knee in the first half. My quad wasn’t really switching on properly.
“My knee was bothering me a wee bit, but I came out for the second half and felt fine so I have just got to keep going.”
Rudden went back to Rangers after Argyle manager Ryan Lowe noticed he was struggling during a training session.
“I had a wee bit of down time for a couple of days and built my leg back up,” said Rudden.
“I had a cyst behind my knee that had burst so that was a problem that I never knew I had, but now it’s all good.”
Rudden’s strike partner for the Trophy tie against Swindon was Joel Grant, who put the Pilgrims 2-0 up in the 36th minute.
Grant could not convert a couple of earlier opportunities but found the net with a fine left-foot finish after he was set up by midfielder Antoni Sarcevic.
Rudden said: “Joel was good but, to be honest, all the boys were good. It was a great performance.
“We were on the front foot and played well all over the pitch. It was good football.”
Argyle now need only to draw their final group game in the Trophy, at home to Chelsea Under-21s on October, to guarantee a place in the last 32 of the competition.
Rudden said: “It was a quiet night (against Swindon) and there wasn’t much fans but still you have got to take positives from the game and take it into Saturday.
“I did alright but there were bits of my game that I probably could have got better.
“I should have had maybe a couple more goals but I have just got to look on the positive side and hopefully get a game on Saturday.”