Mutch, who signed with Aalesund FK in February, contributed seven goals and five assists in 26 Premier League starts for Cardiff during the 2014-15 season but failed to replicate that form in subsequent moves to Crystal Palace, QPR and Reading.

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The 28-year-old puts that down to inactivity in the last few years but expects to enjoy similar success at Aalesund FK as he did during a brief stint at MLS side Vancouver Whitecaps in 2018.

“I was inactive for nearly two years without really playing,” says Mutch of his stop-start career.

“I was on the bench a lot; I was not getting minutes and then I went out on loan a couple of times. I went to MLS and had a fantastic time there and wanted to stay but the manager [Carl Robinson] left.

I think I had a very difficult time when I was leaving Crystal Palace; the year after was quite difficult for me. However, I am looking forward to having an impact here and pushing forward with my career because I am 28.

“I want to get the most out of my career and I feel like I still have a lot to give.”

His new manager Lars Bohinen enjoyed some success at Derby County as a player in the late 90s, the club where Mutch spent five years as a youth team player, and the midfielder feels he is ready to start playing his best football again under the 50-year-old coach.

“There were difficult times with my parent club Palace but it had been a year now and I am over that and I am starting to find my feet again and Lars [Bohinen] and Aalesund have given me a platform here that has made me feel comfortable. But also get me out of my comfort zone to playing my best football.”

I want to be playing my best football.

Mutch, who had a brief stint with South Korean outfit Gyeongnam FC in 2019, is looking to the future with a club that cantered to the title last season.

“I didn’t work out great for me [at Palace] – I wanted to play games, but I couldn’t. Football is a funny game, but that time has passed, and I am happy where I am, and I am always striving for more.”

Aalesund open their Eliteserien campaign with a fixture against reigning champions Molde on Tuesday at 17:00 live on Eurosport and Eurosport Player, and while Mutch feels physically ready he still expects a difficult match.

"The most important thing is that we are in better shape than them. I think we are in a better position than Molde and it will come down to who has prepared the best, but we will see when the season starts."

Live Eliteserien matches on Eurosport 1 and Eurosport Player

(All times BST)

Matchday 1:
Tuesday 16 June, Aalesunds FK vs Molde (KO 17:00)
Tuesday 16 June, Sarpsborg 08 vs Vålerenga (KO 19:30)
Wednesday 17 June, IK Start vs Strømsgodset (KO 17:00)
Wednesday 17 June, Haugesund vs SK Brann (KO 19:30)

Matchday 2:
Saturday 20 June, Molde vs Rosenborg (KO 19:30)
Sunday 21 June, SK Brann vs Viking (KO 19:30)

Matchday 3:
Tuesday 24 June, IK Start vs Molde (KO 17:00 CEST)
Tuesday 24 June, Odd vs Valerenga (KO 19:30 CEST)
Wednesday 25 June, Sarpsborg 08 vs Strømsgodset (KO 17:00)
Wednesday 25 June, Rosenborg vs Bodø/Glimt (KO 19:30)

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