Kei Kamara thought he had blown his dream of playing in the Premier League when he was shown the door by Stoke after a trial four months ago.
On Saturday, however, the striker from Major Soccer League club Sporting Kansas returns to the Britannia Stadium hoping to ensure the Premier League safety of Norwich as he closes in on the end of a three-month loan spell at Carrow Road.
Norwich manager Chris Hughton still has to decide whether to try to keep Kamara on a more permanent footing, so the easy-going 28-year-old from Sierra Leone has plenty of incentive to prove a few people wrong at Stoke.
Not that Kamara, who has scored one goal in six appearances at Norwich with Hughton admitting "he has made an impact", has any complaints.
Kamara, who has stayed in touch with Stoke's Asmir Begovic and Kenwyne Jones, said: "I had some good training sessions in my 10 days at Stoke and was able to play one of my [practice] games with Michael Owen up front. I felt like I could have fitted in because I was more of an aerial threat but it didn't work out.
"Everybody has a different opinion and there's no bad blood, no disrespect to the coaching staff over there.
"Everybody sees something different every day. I mean, before I had my fiancee someone else was with my fiancee who didn't like her. They left her and I got her and I think she is the best woman ever.
"It's just how it is. I was just excited to train with a Premier League side. I said thank you for the opportunity and went back home."
Stoke's loss was Hughton's gain and while Kamara has scored just one Premier League goal it was against Everton in February, an equaliser, and it did help to clinch the three points in an eventual 2-1 victory.
"To just play a game in England was something I've always dreamed about, especially as I was 28 years old," said Kamara. "To score a goal to help the team get points and then to realise I was the first player from Sierra Leone to score in the Premier League that's up there definitely with the tops."
Kamara was impressive while partnering Grant Holt up front in the victory against Reading last weekend and admits the experienced striker has been his "mentor" since he arrived in England.
They sit next to each other in the changing room and Kamara has been soaking up the education. Now he wants another goal or two in the last two games of his loan spell before his scheduled return to Kansas
"That would be storybook," Kamara said. "I think I have shown a bit of what I can do but I definitely feel I can do a lot better. To catch up with the other guys and the flow of the game takes a bit longer than the six games I've played."
Against Stoke, however, Kamara will constitute a physical presence and an aerial threat, qualities which have been the mainstay of the Potters in the Premier League.
Kamara is relishing the challenge, especially as victory would virtually guarantee safety for 13th-placed Norwich.
"I don't know what their game plan will be but watching Stoke it has always been a tough game," said Kamara. "It's about set-plays and who gets to the ball first. But we have a team with physical guys too."
Norwich defender Michael Turner is ruled out with a groin injury he suffered against Reading last week and Leon Barnett has been recalled as cover from his loan spell with Cardiff.