Hibernian winger Thomas Agyepong admits having former England defender Joleon Lescott as a mentor has been invaluable during an injury-ravaged season at Easter Road.
The on loan Manchester City player has been restricted to just 34 minutes of football after suffering separate knee and thigh problems since joining last August.
At 22-years of age and a long way from home in Accra, Ghana, Agyepong’s time in Edinburgh has tested his mental resilience.
However, the fleet-foot wideman admits having Lescott, a two-time Premier League winner with the Sky Blues, and a City physio and psychologist for support has helped him negotiate a thoroughly frustrating spell.
He said: “Joleon Lescott is my mentor, sometimes he comes over and we go out in the city and sometimes he comes to the club and we sit down with the manager and have a chat.
“He comes to some of the games and gives me advice on how to deal with stuff on and off the pitch because he’s been through everything before. It’s good to have someone like that.
“Then every now and then City send a physio to come and see me and there’s also a psychologist who comes here every now and then or sometimes chats over the phone.
“They all help me to stay focused on what I need to do to get back fit again. So it has been really helpful.
“I’m not short of people to help me. I’ve got my family as well, the people at Hibs and City so I’ve got a lot of good people around me to help me and keep my feet on the ground.”
With only three games left in the Premiership, starting with tomorrow’s clash at Rangers, Agyepong realises he is running out of time to make an impact.
However, with Ghana having qualified for this summer’s Africa Cup of Nations, the playmaker is hoping to be included in national team manager James Kwesi Appiah’s plans.
He added: “That would be nice, I’ve been in touch with the manager and the manager has been in touch with me and even when I was injured he was texting me to see how I was doing.
“I hope I’m in his plans, I hope I can get some games and do well and hopefully I can get into the national team for the Africa Cup of Nations. “That would be great, even though I’ve not achieved my goals here that’s a target I can set for myself.”