Livingston midfielder Sean Kelly has been driven on by their agonising top-six near miss from the beginning of the season.
And he is determined to make sure they make the most of a burst of home matches as they enter the final straight of their push to seal a place in the top half of the cinch Premiership.
David Martindale’s side were heading into the top six until the final seconds of their final pre-split game last season when former Livi defender Ricki Lamie headed home to seal a point for Motherwell and a comeback from two goals down.
Livi are aiming to seal the deal this time around and sit fifth in the table. They have the chance to consolidate their push for a European place when they begin the first of five home games out of six as they host Kilmarnock on Saturday.
Kelly said: “These are the games that, if we want to aspire to get top six and European football, we ideally need to take some points from.
“We are in a lot stronger position than we were this time last season.
“At the start of the season we say we want to avoid relegation but within the camp we have bigger aspirations than that, especially on the back of last season.
“In-house our expectations are a lot higher than that, the way we play we are competitive in the majority of games. The season has been going pretty well and we look to continue that.
“The way last season came about, it definitely had an impact on how we started this season.
“We put a run together a bit too late last season and we missed out, not just because of what happened on the last day but basically how we started the season.
“I think that was definitely a big factor in how we started this season.”
Livi never let the painful moment against Motherwell linger and used it as a springboard to improve.
“At that time we could have felt sorry for ourselves but even the response after that game, after the split in the bottom six, was pretty good,” Kelly said.
“We didn’t have anything to play for and it would probably have been easier to see the season out but we were undefeated after that, so that was the response.
A new season, fresh faces come in who have no idea what went on last season and a few younger players came in who are hungry and are looking to make their name in the game, which really helped.”