Derby County left-back Max Lowe returned to Pittodrie on loan because he is convinced another spell at Aberdeen will improve his game even further.
The 21-year-old today insisted boss Derek McInnes and the Red Army have yet to see him hit top form.
That is despite the defender being a stand-out performer in an initial loan spell at Aberdeen in the first half of the season.
Having made an unexpected return to the Granite City, Lowe picked up where he left off by scoring in the 1-1 Scottish Cup draw with Stenhousemuir.
The defender today lifted the lid on why he jumped at the chance to return to Pittodrie.
He insists it was because he felt part of the family atmosphere at Pittodrie, enjoyed his football and progressed at the Reds.
Lowe said: “I can improve a lot in my game.
“I know that and the gaffer tells me that every day.
“Hopefully all the fans and the gaffer can see that in my game.
“There is 100 per cent more to come from me in the second half of the season.
“For my own progression, this was the right move for me.
“Hopefully everyone could see that at Aberdeen, as I was progressing with each game.
“I want to try to show the fans what I am capable of again because I am delighted to be back.
“That is the reason I came back because I told him (Frank Lampard) that I loved it up here.
“Progression-wise, for a player my age I have had a lot of games at Aberdeen and I have enjoyed it.
“You play your best football when you are enjoying it and that is why I wanted to come back up here. I felt part of the team and I feel like I am a member of the club.
“It is a real family-based club and I like that feeling.
“He (Lampard) could see it in my eyes I wanted to come back (to Aberdeen) and it is the right thing to do right now.”
Such was the level of Lowe’s impact in the first half of the season, McInnes made a pitch to extend the loan for the rest of the season.
That was initially rejected by Lampard due to an ongoing left-back injury crisis at Derby.
At the turn of the year McInnes admitted any hope of securing Lowe on another loan looked forlorn.
After Lowe’s impact, however, the Dons gaffer confirmed he would target a similar, rampaging left-back to the Derby star in the January transfer window.
That no longer became necessary as, with the arrival of former Chelsea full-back Ashley Cole, the green light was given for Lowe’s return to Pittodrie.
Lowe was an unused substitute in Derby County’s midweek FA Cup third-round replay penalty shoot-out defeat of Premier League Southampton.
Just days later he was back in Aberdeen – and scoring in the Scottish Cup for the Reds.
He said: “It was a crazy week.
“It is not going to take any time to settle in because I know the boys and the gaffer has been great with me.
“The Aberdeen fans have been class with me as well.
“I have got my confidence coming back here and we really need to kick on now.”
Having been part of a Derby team that inflicted a cup shock, Lowe was relieved not to be on the opposite end and the victim of a shock by a lower-league side.
Aberdeen face a Scottish Cup fourth-round replay against Stenhousemuir at Ochilview on Tuesday January 29.
At stake is a Pittodrie clash against the winners of the replay between top-flight strugglers Dundee and Championship Queen of the South. Lowe said: “It was a very disappointing result in the cup but, to be fair to Stenhousemuir, they deserved it as they worked very hard in the second half.
“They pushed hard for the equaliser.
“The quality wasn’t there from us in the second half, from our point of view.
“It was a disappointing goal to concede as well as there were a lot of errors leading up to it.
“I can’t lie, it is always nice to score but I would have been a lot happier if we had got a victory and a clean sheet.
“I am disappointed in that sense.
“We go to Stenhousemuir’s place now and do our best to get into the next round.
“We are very disappointed because the replay is another match and we have a lot of games coming up.”
It was a bitter-sweet second Dons debut for Lowe because although he scored, there was also the embarrassment of being held by a team that had leaked nine goals in their last two games in Scotland’s third tier.
Lowe admits the outcome of the Scottish Cup tie hit him hard in the immediate aftermath as he pondered the match on Saturday night.
However, he insists there must not be a cup hangover as they face Hamilton at the Hope CBD Stadium on league duty tomorrow night.
Aberdeen are just three points behind Premiership leaders Celtic and Rangers.
He said: “We have Hamilton to put this right by getting a result.
“Having a game on Wednesday is probably good for us.
“Obviously that cup tie was going to linger overnight as I was thinking about the game at home.
“But it is difficult as you have to move on quickly and we need to do that as a team. You have to take the positives out of the game leading into this week.
“The league is important for us, especially with the position we are in – we need to keep winning.”