Jack Byrne was an unused substitute on Sunday afternoon as Kilmarnock shocked Celtic with a late winner at Rugby Park. Byrne has played just 15 minutes for Killie since joining the Scottish Premiership side earlier this month on a one-year deal. Still, there's no doubt his career is already in a better spot.
The 22-year-old left previous club Oldham in acrimonious circumstances late last month, being released by mutual consent. It came after he was ostracised from the club's first team and criticised by both the manager Frankie Bunn and owner Abdallah Lemsagam. The player had also appeared to be critical on Twitter about how the club was being run.
He had only joined Oldham permanently in January after spending the previous four months on loan from Wigan.
Speaking to The National prior to the weekend's game, Byrne addressed his Oldham exit.
"I can’t really say anything on the matter. The club don’t want me to. But my conscience is clear, 100 per cent," said the Dubliner.
Byrne leaving Oldham came against the objections of many fans.
I think most people [down there] know what went on. They got relegated, I was probably one of the higher earners and they needed me to go.
I needed to go as well to further my career. That was all it was; there wasn’t anything else to it. But it probably could have been handled a little bit better. It is what it is; that’s football.
They criticised me but that’s people trying to force your hand to do something you don’t maybe want to do at the time. Maybe it was to get something over the line that benefits the club more than the player. That’s all that is, I think.
Since his successful loan spell at Eredivisie side Cambuur concluded at the end of the 2016 season, Byrne's career has been on a downward slide. He admits now that another year on loan from Man City in Holland would have been the correct decision.
"I did well there, broke into the Ireland squad and then went to Blackburn on loan. I was told I was going to play as a number 10, but when I went there they played 4-4-2 under Owen Coyle and I don’t think it suited my style of play.
"Wigan came for me in January last year but Warren Joyce was sacked a month later when I was just getting back fit and into the team. Wigan tried to do a swap deal with Hearts for Jamie Walker in January this year but it didn’t materialise and I ended up going to Oldham.
"But I’m here now, playing under a really good manager. I’m just looking to learn, looking to try and get my career back on a steady track again."