A Scot, leaving Plymouth for Carlisle: surely there was as much in the geography as the football when Peter Grant made his transfer window decision?

Not so. “My family’s actually in Norwich,” the defender says. “It’s only my young brother who’s in Scotland, because he plays for Clyde. It’s great that I’ll be able to see him more often, but my other family are still a good distance away.

“It was never a case where I was trying to look for somewhere close to home anyway. It was about the right opportunity.”

Grant felt a switch to the Blues was indeed that opportunity, signing until the end of the season after agreeing to end his contract at Plymouth. At Home Park the centre-half’s promising early career did not entirely flourish yet he hopes circumstances are more to his favour in Cumbria.

“In the first part of the season, there was a period when I got myself in the team for, all in all, about 10 games,” says Grant, who had joined Argyle from Falkirk in the summer. “They came in difficult circumstances, where we were depleted by injuries to our main players, and some players were playing out of position.

“Over that period I actually felt that, even though results weren’t great, I proved I can play at that level. The manager [Derek Adams] also said I was unfortunate to come out of the team. For whatever reason, I never found myself able to get back in and, when it was coming close to the January window and if an opportunity came up, I would definitely look at it.”

Grant made nine appearances exactly for his Devon club yet some of their fans were complimentary about his efforts when his United move was confirmed. “It’s obviously nice to hear that from your own supporters, because at the end of the day they’re probably your biggest critics from week to week,” he says.

“The vast majority were coming out positively and felt I’d played well in the time I was in the team. I feel my own judgement of my performances was right, when I’m hearing it from different people. But that’s by the by now. My main focus is Carlisle. I want to do everything I can to help this team achieve what they want to achieve.”

Grant’s path at Falkirk did not quite cross with Steven Pressley’s managerial tenure there, but the 24-year-old knew of the former defender’s reputation and standing, which consolidated his decision to sign for Carlisle. Pressley has since described him as a “throwback” in style and Grant smiles at this when asked to explain his attributes.

“Yeah - I like to try and focus on being a number one defender,” he says. “My main aim is to try and keep clean sheets. That’s the bread and butter of being a central defender or any other defender along the back line and it’s what I try and pride myself on.

“To play on the ball, I’ve got those attributes as well, but first and foremost my job’s to be a defender.”

Grant also talks about wanting to be a “threat in both boxes” and this helps us revisit his time at Falkirk, when he came promisingly through the ranks and, amid 120 appearances, scored for the Bairns at Hampden Park in the 2015 Scottish Cup Final: a 2-1 defeat to Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

His 80th-minute header levelled the scores but was reduced to a consolation when James Vincent struck a late Caley winner. It still registers, though, as a priceless memory for a young player, from a time he appreciated.

“When I went to Falkirk, Gary Holt signed me on a pre-contract, but I unfortunately never got to work under Gary because he joined Norwich that summer,” Grant says. “Peter Houston took over and I’ve got so much to thank him for - he was absolutely fantastic with me, along with his staff. He gave me the opportunity, and when I got into the team I never looked back for four seasons under him.

“Playing against the likes of Rangers, Hearts, Hibs in the league, getting promotion, and the main one was getting to the Scottish Cup Final and managing to score in it as well, which is something that will never leave me. Unfortunately we lost that day but as a team we were so close. We had a fantastic mix of experience and young players, and we were such a tight-knit group.

“The success was in the sense of being the smaller club compared to other ones in the league, and what we achieved was way above what we should have. I had a fantastic time there and that’s probably where I made my mark, before I got my opportunity to come down to England.”

It is fair to hear Grant describe his own story first, rather than immediately place everything in the context of having a famous father. Peter Grant senior was an outstanding midfielder over 15 years with Celtic and it was inevitable that his son, once in the game himself, would have to get used to being asked about him.

Grant junior appears a thoughtful character and while it would be easy to grow weary of more questions about his old man, he meets them in a measured way, saying that, in the main, it has been a highly positive part of his journey.

“As well as my dad, my mum’s been the person from a young age that’s drove me to training, up and down the country to games,” he says. “She’s played a massive part in that as well. But if you’re talking from a footballing point of view you can’t ask for a better mentor, or better guidance off someone who’s been at the top level, playing and coaching.

“I feel like I’ve taken that mentality from him, from a young age up to now. You’ve got to be so single-minded, so focused and driven to want to achieve the level you want to go to. You might not get there, but at least you can look back on your career - and God willing you have a longevity of it – and say, ‘I gave everything I’ve got’.

“He’s probably a little bit more critical – he always picks out the stuff you can improve on rather than the good stuff – but those are things a person outside of football maybe wouldn’t do. So I’ve had that little bit of bonus. He’s been absolutely fantastic and I’ve got a lot to thank him and my mum for, and so does my brother [Ray] who’s in football as well. He’s guided us both along that route.”

Has he ever found it challenging, having such a well-known dad? “I think it was more difficult when I first joined Falkirk. Obviously when people start speaking to you, it was more that they were comparing you to your dad…

“I would just try to reiterate the fact that my career’s separate from my dad’s, and I’m trying to make my own footsteps - but also reiterating that if I could have a career anywhere as good as he did, I’ll be very, very lucky.

“I think it was more highlighted on a regular basis up in Scotland, but I knew that was going to be the nature of it. I can answer the questions on that no problem. But we’re two different positions, even if we have the same kind of mentality – we’ve got such a drive to do well in our football and I’d like to think my mentality’s a strong one through tough times and strong ones.

“That’s never going to change. My focus is trying to be the best player I can and getting to the highest level I can.”

That focus brings him to Carlisle, where Grant was one of five signings in the space of four days. In his case he brings left-sided defensive competition, challenged to push those in the back four who have helped keep five clean sheets in nine games en route to fifth in League Two.

“When I heard of the interest coming from the gaffer, it was something that really appealed to me,” Grant says. “With the club being in the position they are in the league, and having a chance myself to get back playing football again, I’m really happy to be here.

“When you hear someone that wants you, shows he knows your attributes and what you can bring to the team, it’s a no-brainer to come. I want to help get this club promoted, at the end of the day. I want to have success come the end of the season, because there’s a really good group of players in there. They’re not up at the top end of the league for no reason. I want to try and add to that when called upon.”

Grant, like many in United’s squad, is here until the summer, the longer-term less clear, but he insists his focus is fixed on the present, on making the most of the 16 games ahead. “At the end of the day, at any football club, it’s always going to be a challenge,” he says. “Every day’s a challenge.

“I want to try and better myself every day, improve every day, and when called upon I’ll be making sure I’m ready. I want to contribute, to understand what the manager and the staff want, give everything for the cause.

"That’s what I will do. I’m looking forward to the games coming up because it’s going to be really exciting for us. I can’t wait to get going.”