Motherwell winger Zaine Francis-Angol has credited James McFadden with turning him from fringe player to key performer.
Former Scotland frontman McFadden may not have hit his stride this season but he’s doing his bit by making sure that 20-year-old Francis-Angol has enjoyed his best spell at Fir Park.
After Chris Humphrey and Omar Daley left in the summer there was a gap for a speed merchant and McFadden’s tips have helped the former Spurs youth player fill it.
Francis-Angol said: “We have Lionel Ainsworth on the right, who has similar pace to Chris. Hopefully, I can give us a bit of pace on the left side. I have had to learn the position a bit because I was not really used to playing left wing. The more games you get in that position, the more comfortable you get.
“James McFadden is great with advice for me and now we have Lionel, who is a winger too. I have little chats with them before games so that has been good for me.
“Faddy is a top-quality player and, when he gets his form back, you will see that again. Confidence plays a part in you having good form but sometimes things just don’t go for you.”
Francis-Angol has started more games this season than in the previous two combined. And he’s ready to have a happy new year after a second opinion over-ruled the doctor who told him three weeks ago that he’d be sidelined until March with a groin injury. Now he’s hoping to keep Partick Thistle’s dismal home record going when Stuart McCall’s side visit Firhill today.
Of the injury, he said: “It’s turned out not to be as bad as they thought it was going to be.
“After seeing the specialist he said that, to avoid implications for the future, I need to maintain my core strength and that’s what I’ve been doing. I will go up to the gym to do a bit extra but that’s nothing. You have to make sacrifices sometimes.
“I was feeling soreness in the groin area but that’s completely gone now. I was told I was going to be out for a couple of months but I’m now feeling good.”