HENRIK Ojamaa was a regular starter as Legia Warsaw won the Polish league last season but the Estonian believes he will be happier playing in his natural position at Motherwell.
The 23-year-old played 45 games for Legia after moving from Well last summer but manager Henning Berg mostly played him on the right wing rather than his preferred option of up front.
So Ojamaa’s mind was set on a move even before Legia suffered the stunning blow of losing their Champions League place to Celtic.
And Fir Park was the perfect destination for Ojamaa to rediscover the full joy of scoring goals and running at the heart of defences.
The Estonia international, who was joined in signing a five-month loan deal at Motherwell by Derby defender Mark O’Brien, said: “If you look at the amount of games I’ve played and the games I’ve started and I won the title as well it all looks really good but I wasn’t enjoying my football as much due to my position.
“I was knocking on the manager’s door every couple of months asking If I can get a shot playing as a striker but the way the team played it never happened unfortunately.
“I enjoy football much more being a striker. I feel I can use my best qualities and I am the most beneficial to the team as well when I’m playing that role.”
Ojamaa, who replaces close friend Henri Anier in the Motherwell squad, added: “It feels great to be back. When the option with Motherwell came up it made sense in a lot of ways. I know the manager really well and the majority of the team, the people in general in Motherwell were great to me and I haven’t forgotten that and I really appreciate it.
“I don’t think it’s going to take long to get used to the surroundings, the team and the way the manager works. For me right now I need to get my fitness up. It’s not quite what I’d like it to be having missed a lot of pre-season because of injury.”
The return of Ojamaa ahead of the home clash with Inverness in the Scottish Premiership has been hailed by fans but the player is relaxed about the pressure.
“I’m aware of that but I place high expectations on myself anyway,” he said. “And it’s great to see people are excited about me coming back, and I look forward to seeing the fans.”
And Ojamaa believes his experience with Legia has made him a better player.
“Winning the league is the minimum expectation and playing in Europe as well was good experience,” he said.
“At Legia there are players that have won a lot of titles and cups, so to be in that winning environment all the time definitely rubs off and makes you more ambitious to have success and to have that last year has been good for my experience.”
Irish centre-back O’Brien, 21, comes into Motherwell’s injury-hit squad to fill the void left by the departure of Shaun Hutchinson.
Boss Stuart McCall said: “We are delighted Mark has joined us, he is a player we have tracked for some time now. He would have been here much earlier but had an ankle knock during pre-season.
“Everyone who I’ve spoke to rates him highly and this is a great opportunity for him to stake a claim for a regular first-team start and show just what he is capable of.”
Meanwhile, John Hughes insists reports of Motherwell’s imminent demise are much-exaggerated.
The Inverness Caley Thistle manager has heard all the talk of counterpart Stuart McCall’s difficulties after a summer that brought another pilfering of his playing squad.
Hughes knows Inverness have often found Fir Park a troublesome venue in the past and doesn’t expect the latest trip to be any less demanding on his confident group of players.
The 49-year-old, who also rubbished reports linking Billy Mckay with a move to German Bundesliga 2 club FSV Frankfurt, is eager to build on two clean sheets in Caley Thistle’s first outings.
Hughes said: “No-one wants to lose players as Motherwell have, but they’re still a very good side. They are similar to us. They have that strong spine and they are giving youngsters a chance.
“Every time you go down there it is difficult. They’ve taken our scalp a few times but they’ve always been good games. I’m looking forward to it.”
Richie Foran and Danny Devine remain sidelined for Inverness, although the latter will return to full training next week.
Midfielder James Vincent is touch and go for today’s Fir Park clash having picked up a groin strain.