Dundee United’s Billy King keen to be a hero again

Twenty-three-year-old winger Billy King is preparing for his first taste of the Dundee derby. Picture: Sammy Turner/SNS
Twenty-three-year-old winger Billy King is preparing for his first taste of the Dundee derby. Picture: Sammy Turner/SNS
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Billy King savoured humbling Hibs in the Edinburgh derby. Now, the Dundee United winger is intent on doing something similar to Dundee.

King spent five years at boyhood idols Hearts with the highlight being his late clincher in their 2-0 win over the Hibees at Tynecastle in March 2014 which pushed the ailing Easter Road club a step closer towards relegation.

Now the 23-year-old winger is preparing for his first taste of the Dundee derby in today’s televised Betfred Cup tie at Dens Park and would love nothing more than to become the hero for Ray McKinnon’s Championship hopefuls who aim to claim the scalp of Neil McCann’s Premiership hosts.

“My first competitive goal for Hearts was against Hibs,” smiled King.

“I came on and it was the derby where they thought they were going to come and relegate us. I scored in the last minute by taking it round the keeper. Being a Hearts fan, I don’t think I’ll have a better memory in football. That was an unbelievable feeling. Another one on Sunday would be great!

“I’ve scored two already in this group so we’ll see what happens. We’re going into it in good form so hopefully we can get chances on Sunday and take them.”

King is no stranger to derby day overall having experienced the Highland equivalent during his spell on loan at Inverness last season.

“I played in a few Edinburgh derbies as well as well as the Highland derby,” he added.

“They’re all big occasions which players and fans both thrive on. It will be a massive day on Sunday. So I’m looking forward to it. I know what derbies are all about. It’s just the kind of game that players want to play in.

“We’re going into the game with confidence. We’re really looking forward to it. I’ve watched a few Dundee derbies in the past. They’re similar to the two occasions I’ve already experienced.

King jumped at the chance of a move to Tayside earlier this summer and has hit the ground running for McKinnon’s men in their opening Group C stages.

The forward is convinced the Tangerines are tailor-made for a return to the Premiership this season and the arrival this week of former Celtic striker Scott McDonald has strengthened his underlying belief.

He said: “I was attracted by the size of the club and the facilities. When I spoke to the manager, I was impressed by his tactics and how he wanted the team to play.

“We’ve got a good mix, a few older heads with the hunger and the drive of the younger ones as well. Hopefully it can all click into place in the new season and we can get points on the board.”