RYAN BLAIR has spent much of the last three years mixing with English Premier League stars but says his move to Athletic was the right one to make.

And, while the on-loan Swansea City midfielder is keen to impress his parent club while at East End, he is equally determined to help his former coach Stevie Crawford get his new club moving in an upward direction.

Blair, 22, was the Pars’ second signing on a busy ending to the transfer window last Thursday when he followed Aberdeen forward Bruce Anderson in penning a temporary deal until the end of the season.

After making his first-team breakthrough at Falkirk – where he worked with Crawford – Blair was snapped up by the South Wales outfit, then in England’s top flight, in January 2016, but has found opportunities limited.

Speaking to Press Sport, he commented: “I was looking to get out of Swansea and get the first-team game minutes that I need.

“I spoke with the coaches there and they felt that it was the right time for me to go and get first-team games and see where I’m at at the end of the season.

“To be fair this year, a lot of youngsters have had their opportunity down there, but since I’ve been there there’s been six different managers.

“Every time a new one comes in, it’s a clean slate and you need to start again and keep working hard.

“I feel that I’ve progressed a lot on the physical side. When I first made my move down there, you could tell that the pace of the game was completely different; it’s a lot quicker and sharper.

“I’ve been done with a few injuries down there as well but I’m fully fit now and ready to go.”

Blair, who made his debut as a substitute in Saturday’s defeat to Ross County, has been a regular in Swansea’s under-23 team and returned to Falkirk on loan last term, but feels working with Crawford again will prove more beneficial.

“I feel like I’ll get more games here than I did last year because I feel a lot more fit coming up,” he continued.

“The manager was a very big influence. Before I signed for Swansea, I worked under Stevie Crawford; he was the first-team coach at Falkirk. He phoned me up and said, ‘You’ll be coming up here fighting for a place; I know what you can do but you need to show me that I can’t keep you out the team’. That’s exactly what you want to hear.

“He says he’d be bringing me up here and I’m not just going to be a number, so I was delighted to sign for him.”

He added: “I hadn’t met the squad or trained because of the travelling but I was delighted to get 20 minutes or so on Saturday.

“As a new player, it can take a bit of time to learn what your team-mates like so, over the next week-and-a-half or so until the next game, I’ll be looking to do that.

“I’m mainly a central midfielder but, when I’ve been down there, I’ve played centre half, left back and left of a three in midfield. But I would say my qualities are my passing range, shooting and that I’ve got a decent left foot. Hopefully I can show the fans that on a Saturday!

“The boys have been very welcoming and I’m looking forward to putting a shift in for them. Hopefully I can force my way into the starting 11 and cement my place.”