Ryan Dickson sat glued to the TV for City’s Capital One Cup exploits against Arsenal and Aston Villa.

But the alluring prospect of playing in the semi-final second leg next week never entered his head when Phil Parkinson came calling.

For Dickson, it was just the case of taking an offer to get out of Southampton and play again. The 26-year-old had spent too long in the St Mary’s shadows and needed a game somewhere, anywhere.

“If I’m going to be honest, the cup wasn’t in my mind,” he said. “It was really just about the first club that came in for me when the (transfer) window opened.

“There have been enquiries before but it’s always been down to Southampton. They accepted this one so I couldn’t wait to get out and play.

“No disrespect to Accrington Stanley but whether it was them or anyone, I just needed to be playing football again.

“But this is a great club to be fair. They are near the top of the league and I’m not cup-tied....”

Dickson, one of the small band of pro players to hail from Cornwall, began with local club Plymouth. But he first made his mark with Brentford, helping them to promotion in 2009.

The following summer Southampton came knocking and, within a year, he had gone up again from League One.

Ironically Dickson’s first goal for his club was a promotion-clincher back at Home Park, which also relegated his former side at the same time.

But as the Saints splashed the cash to fast-track their way through the Championship, Dickson was left behind. Apart from two League Cup appearances, his only league action last season came from loan spells with Yeovil and Leyton Orient.

And Saturday’s Valley Parade debut against Oxford was his first involvement of the current campaign.

Dickson added: “Southampton are a fast-moving club and there’s been massive investment there straight from the off.

“You can’t really complain about two promotions in two seasons. The players they are bringing in now are well-known internationals.

“If managers and chairmen want to make changes, that’s their prerogative. It’s just what happens in football some times.

“In the meantime you don’t want to be left behind. If you’re not involved then you hope there will be an opportunity to play football elsewhere.

“That hasn’t happened for me before but luckily this window it has. Now I want to get back to the standard I know I can produce.”

Understandably there was a bit of rust about Dickson’s display last weekend but he looked happier at Crewe, despite the deflection from his sliding challenge that led to the freaky equaliser. “Probably the luckiest goal I’ve seen in football,” he tweeted on the coach home.

“I’ve not played as much as I would want to and it’s good to get back in the swing of things. I’m a naturally fit lad so I should be able to pick it up fast.

“I know the gaffer from his time at Charlton and he’s got a good reputation down south. The squad he has put together is strong for this league.

“They’ve had a lot of publicity and it’s always good to join a positive club. The boys are on the up.”