TO WIN over the Alloa faithful Kevin O'Hara knows only giving his all will do.

However, to truly defeat the perceptions of him, he'll have to win over the rest of Scottish football.

For many, the talented former Scotland internationalist will always be known for one infamous incident while in the colours of Falkirk.

As a teenager, he was found guilty of taunting Dunfermline midfielder Dean Shiels about him having one eye and later served a four-game ban for the Bairns.

It's a cloud which has hung over the now 21-year-old during spells with East Fife, Stenhousemuir and the rest of his time across the water until he was released as the side were relegated to League One.

However, the skies are beginning to clear and it's in no small part to the trust shown in him by his new boss Peter Grant, who convinced O'Hara to make the switch to the Wee County in the summer.

It was a leap of faith by the former Celtic skipper and O'Hara's shot at redemption – one he's determined not to miss.

"I said in an interview last year that I knew I was in the wrong with that," O'Hara told Advertiser Sport. "I did apologise and served my ban and moved on.

"I want to get back to playing week-in-week-out and performing so people remember me for what I am doing on the park and not the incident.

"If I can play most weeks and contribute with goals and assists, which I think I have done so far, then I will help the team accomplish its goals.

"People have been writing us off and saying we will be relegated, but we're happy just to go about our business and ignore it and try and win every game and see where it takes us.

"We don't want to put our expectations too high or too low and will just take every game as it comes and see where it takes us come the end of the season."

O'Hara has already grabbed his opportunity at Wee Country redemption with both hands, scoring against rivals Stirling Albion in the Betfred Cup and putting in strong performances in the Championship.

His return to form may have surprised some onlookers but not Grant, who knew O'Hara was something special from his days playing alongside his son Peter at Falkirk.

"It (the move) was kinda sudden," the Stirling native said. "I knew the manager from playing with his son Peter at Falkirk and he called me out of the blue to ask if I would be interested in coming along to training and seeing what it is all about.

"We had a chat and he wanted me to sign, but obviously the biggest worry for him was about me going part-time.

"But I really enjoyed it and the boys were brand new and I knew I just needed to get back playing games.

"I felt he would give me that opportunity and he has so far."

The Shiels incident aside, the last couple of seasons have proven tough for O'Hara and he didn't find the back of the net at all last during his spell with Stenhousemuir and then the first half of 2019 with Falkirk.

However, it's to his testament that he was prepared to take the step 'down' to the part-time game in search of first-team football.

He continued: "My career the last couple of years has maybe taken a wee stand and I was keen to get my name back out there and play games.

"I could have gone somewhere else and been a squad player, but I wanted to be in the starting 11 week-in-week-out.

"The team has been brilliant with me and so have the coaching staff so far.

"I knew a few of the boys from before like Liam Dick from Falkirk and that makes it a wee bit easier to go into the dressing room.

"I obviously knew all of the players from playing with Falkirk last year.

"It's not much different and the only difference is that you are not in as much. When you're full-time you don't do much on a Monday anyway.

"I've been out on loan a few times at part-time teams so I am used to doing it."

Since making the switch to Alloa, O'Hara has found himself playing in a more central role in Grant's new look line-up.

It's a role he's not been able to enjoy as much as he would have liked in recent years – being shunted out onto the wing by successive managers – but he admits he would happily play anywhere if it got him on the pitch.

"I like playing through the middle and up top or just off the striker," he said. "A lot of managers in the past have used me out wide and it's not like I don't like playing there.

"I would play anywhere just to play in the team.

"The fans have been brilliant and they are letting me express myself on the pitch."

On the horizon for O'Hara and the rest of the Wasps is the visit of Arbroath this weekend.

Many pundits have swayed between the two part-timers as the side likeliest to finish dead last in the Championship come May and O'Hara is determined to set a marker down when Dick Campbell's boys come calling.

He said: "We played them in the Betfred Cup and it was a tight game, but it will be up to us to put a marker down again and show we're up for the challenge."