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Kilmarnock midfielder Liam Polworth is back playing football with a smile on his face following his time “in the wilderness” at Saturday’s visitors Motherwell.

The 27-year-old joined Well from hometown team Inverness in 2019 but after initially thriving under boss Stephen Robinson he rejected a new deal, fell out of favour with new manager Graham Alexander and ended up training with the youth team.

He said: “I would describe my time at Motherwell as a mixed bag. I really enjoyed the first year there, it was probably the best football I have played in my career.

“We finished third and got to play European football which is something that I really enjoyed.

“Obviously the second season didn’t exactly go to plan.

“There was a change of manager which for some people works and for some people it doesn’t and obviously that’s the way it ended.

“Robinson was obviously having a big influence on the way the team was playing and the way I was playing but once the change of manager came about – people have different opinions and maybe that’s what led to a frustrating spell.”

Polworth did play under Alexander but his last Well appearance was in February 2020 and he left the Steelmen at the end of the season before joining the Ayrshire club that summer.

He added: “It is one of those things that happen in football, maybe he would give a version of what happened but I would say that things didn’t work out and it was a tough six-to-nine months and I would say that nine months taught me a lot.

“It taught me that there is another side to football that people might not see.

“People might just see that you go out and play on a Saturday but it was a long difficult nine months basically in the wilderness, without training with the first team. It was a long time.

“Everything goes through your mind. I’m not from the area so I was thinking about everything. I brought my family was down here and sitting in the house at the weekend is difficult but it happens and you just have to get on with it.”

After a loan spell in the second half of last season at Dunfermline, Polworth is enjoying Killie’s return to the cinch Premiership.

“To be back enjoying your football, and to back in the Premiership as well, is massive, it is something that you really do enjoy,” he said.

“You go out there with a smile on your face, you get to do something that people would love to do.”

Killie are bottom of the table with one point in 12 and with three straight defeats but Polworth is confident of results turning.

He said: “We know we have good players and good quality and we have enough to win plenty of games in the league.

“We just need to get that first win to break the ice and hopefully after that we can take it from there.”