Cammy Bell last night celebrated lifting the Player of the Month award – but insisted it wasn’t just for his memorable hat-trick of penalty saves.
The Dundee United No 1 was awarded for his exploits last month with the highlight being his East End Park performance which saw him pull off three stunning first-half stops from the penalty spot as United ran out 3-1 winners over Dunfermline.
Bell, who left Rangers for a summer switch to Tannadice, could return between the sticks for Saturday’s trip to St Mirren following a recent groin operation.
And he reckons there’s been much more to his September than just his performance against the Pars.
The 30 year old said: “I didn’t expect it and I only found out about it this morning. I was surprised but delighted as well. It is great for me personally and for the club. I think it shows we are moving forward as a team. It generally goes to strikers, the guys who score the most in a month so it is special for me. The penalty saves were great but hopefully it wasn’t based just on that.
“I have to give a lot of credit to the gaffer as well. He has shown great faith in me, bringing me here. He has worked hard with me this season.”
Bell was denied a place in the Guinness book of Records because his efforts occurred outwith the top-flight, and the ex-Ibrox and Killie keeper admits that still hurts.
He added: “I was really disappointed, to be honest.
“I think it is a strange rule because that’s like saying the Championship in England is void as well, which I don’t understand. I think if you are a professional footballer, then it should be in the Guinness Book of Records.”
Bell is on course for a remarkable recovery having only gone under the knife last week and insists playing he can’t get enough of first-team football, having found himself frozen-out at Rangers last season. He said: “It went well. It was one of those things that I had been playing with for about four weeks. Eventually I was in so much pain, I was really struggling with my kicking.
“We knew what the problem was and that I needed an operation. It was a good window of opportunity for me to have it done.
“I spoke to a surgeon down south and he was confident I would be back in two weeks.
“I did a bit of light training this morning so hopefully I won’t be too long.
“I am fairly confident I will be available for selection but it is up to the gaffer and the rest of the coaching staff if they think I’m ready.
“I am eager as always to play football, especially after last year when I didn’t get many games.
“I do feel better but obviously I have a bit of scar tissue and that will be worked on. I am sure as the week progresses, I’ll hopefully feel better.”
Meanwhile, United have been dealt a serious blow with midfielder Stewart Murdoch ruled out until 2017.
United boss McKinnon said: “Stewart has damaged his cruciate ligament. We have had the scan results back so he’s looking at around three months out.”