Keith Andrews was once a Wolverhampton Wanderers player – only he wasn’t. If that makes sense.
West Bromwich Albion’s most recent arrival – signed just 20 minutes before the end of the recent transfer window – did play 48 times for the Molineux side some years ago, spending nearly 10 years at the club.
Yet the 31-year-old claims that the Republic of Ireland player of near enough a decade ago bears no resemblance to the midfielder who hopes to make his Albion debut this weekend.
And Andrews, should he make his first Baggies outing, couldn’t have picked a more appropriate stage – the Black Country derby back at his old stamping ground.
But seven years after his departure he admits that a lot has changed in his own career.
“There was Paul Ince, Colin Cameron and Alex Rae, who were good international players, at Molineux at the time, whereas I was 21 or 22,” said Andrews, looking back.
“I wouldn’t and didn’t take things well and wouldn’t react in the way the manager wanted me to. That’s what I was like back then as a young player.
“Whether my lifestyle was wrong, or it was the people I was knocking around with, I don’t know.
“But it was just so easy for me because I had been there for so long.
“It’s no secret that I was dying to get out of Wolves at that stage because I didn’t get the football I needed.
“It was when I went to MK Dons that the penny dropped and I realised I had to do things right and take my destiny into my own hands rather than leaving it up to other people. It’s fair to say that my whole life changed. It was the kick up the backside I needed.
“I changed my diet and my lifestyle. I wouldn’t say I needed to change the people I was knocking around with because I think I’ve got good family and friends.
“But I just wasn’t being as professional as I could be.
“I would go through stages where I would play a few games and then I’d get dropped and I wouldn’t take it very well.
“For the last four or five years I’ve dealt with that quite well.
“Before that it was just a vicious circle but there were good players in midfield at Wolves at the time so it was always going to be tough for me to break into the side.
“These days I’m a more rounded player. I’ve played at the highest level for a few years now and I’m fully confident I can come here and make an impact.”
Andrews gave up an 18 month deal at Blackburn to join Albion on a six month contract. He hopes it will present a new start for him following a torrid end to his time at Ewood Park.
He added: “It shows how keen I was to get away from Blackburn, but also how keen I was to play for Roy Hodgson.
“For my own sanity I needed to get away from Blackburn, enjoy my football and play for a manager who I like, respect and want to play for
“This is a good deal for all concerned. The club can look at me and I can look at that.”