KEVIN NISBET admits his first crack at the top-flight was derailed by his own bad attitude.
However, the prolific striker has vowed to show any lingering doubters how far he has come following his £250,000 switch to Hibernian.
The 23-year-old was on the books of Partick Thistle when the Jags were in the Premiership but made just six league appearances, all from the bench.
While Nisbet’s talent and eye for goal were never in doubt, there was a massive question mark hanging over his temperament and the Firhill club released him in the summer of 2018.
He concedes that ‘the penny dropped’ at that moment and he notched 34 goals for Raith Rovers the following campaign and, after sealing a switch across Fife, rippled the net 23 times for Dunfermline last term.
That convinced Hibs to shell out top dollar for the marksman – and he finally feels mature enough for the challenge.
He confessed: “When I was a kid at Partick Thistle my attitude wasn’t great.
“There were a lot of things, on and off the park – the way I looked after myself, the way I conducted myself around the place.
“The penny dropped when I was released from there and ever since then I have worked on myself and that’s what has taken me to this point.
“Now I am a lot more mature, I have a lot more games under my belt – which I needed. There has been a lot of hard work over the last few years.”
Nisbet accepts that Hibs splashing out a six-figure fee for a player with a mere handful of Premiership games under his belt may raise a few eyebrows, particularly amid cost-cutting elsewhere at the club.
However, he is adamant he can cut it among Scotland’s elite and is determined to silence any snipers.
Nisbet continued: “I’ve done it in League One, I’ve done it in the Championship – now I need to prove myself in the Premiership.
“There WILL be doubters because I didn’t do the business when I was at Thistle, but the more the merrier!
“It’s just more people I can prove wrong.”
The return to Easter Road for Nisbet, who was actually briefly on the books of the club as an under-15 player, has been a long time coming.
Hibs saw a £400,000 bid for the player booted out by Dunfermline in January and, although he ultimately got his head down and continued to perform for the Pars, it is understood he was devastated when the move didn’t come to fruition.
And he didn’t think twice about putting pen to paper when the Hibees saw their offer accepted earlier this week – despite Hearts boss Robbie Neilson making contact with the player on Thursday evening in a bid to tempt him to Tynecastle.
Nisbet told Hibs TV: “I heard Hibs were interested in January and it was the place I wanted to go and play. I had to continue to play well for Dunfermline but it was always in the back of my mind to come here.
“I was just hoping they’d come back in for me in the summer – and they did.
“I can’t wait to get started with this next step.”