Nadir Ciftci has thanked Pierre Van Hooijdonk for helping him become a smash hit at Dundee United.
Former Celtic striker Van Hooijdonk helped Ciftci clinch a deal at Tannadice as his agent and is also mentoring him as he settles into life in the SPFL.
Turkish ace Ciftci, who was on the scoresheet in United’s 4-2 win away to Ross County last weekend, said: “Pierre watched the game on TV and called me afterwards for a chat about it. He was really pleased for me and it was nice to think he was watching and urging me to play well. He also contacted me after the Celtic match and we talked things over and I appreciate his advice.”
Ciftci joined United from Dutch outfit NAC Breda and the ex-Portsmouth player insists he’s only going to get better. He said: “I have made a good start to my United career but there is more to come from me. I am grateful to the other boys for being really helpful and the coaches have been great too.
“We have a really young team but we understand each other really well. Every day when I train and in every match I play I develop further as a player. I am progressing all the time.
“Since I have been here I haven’t played up top in attack yet, going either on the left or the right, so I enjoyed being an out-and-out striker against Ross County.”
Ciftci admits Jackie McNamara’s men are buzzing following their emphatic win over County in Dingwall. He said: “We feel fantastic after that game. We would have been feeling even better had we not had the two goals against us but overall we have to be delighted with both the result and the performance.
“We looked back at the game on DVD and watching it again made me think that we could easily have scored six. For example, I had a chance that I should have done better with when the keeper saved and Ryan Gauld missed the rebound.”
Ciftci has been bowled over by United starlet Ryan Gauld and reckons the Tannadice teenager is just one of an emerging crops of kids destined for the top. He said: “Ryan is an extremely talented player for someone aged only 17. He is just one of a few here at United and is proof that Scotland does produce good young players.
“You can also talk about John Souttar, Stuart Armstrong, Andrew Robertson and Keith Watson in that way.
“It is all positive at the club just now and hopefully we can continue like this.”