Gary Kenneth must show he merits Dundee United deal

Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara last night threw down the gauntlet to Garry Kenneth in his bid to win another Tannadice deal.

Garry Kenneth: United return. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Garry Kenneth: United return. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Kenneth is currently training with United in his quest for a top-flight return following his departure from English outfit Bristol Rovers before Christmas.

The 26-year-old, a member of United’s 2010 Scottish Cup winning side, has spoken of his desire to pull on the Tangerine jersey again after leaving his boyhood idols in the summer of 2012 for a switch south of the border which was blighted by injury. McNamara has told the former Scotland defender there’s a chance he could seal a move back to the Arabs, but only if he proves he is in tip-top shape.

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McNamara said: “Garry has been training with us but the biggest thing for him at the moment is fitness. He has not had a lot of games recently and he is not fit enough to play, which doesn’t help either of us.

“Garry is training away and we will have a look at him in the next week or two to see if it is going the right way.

“If he shows and improves then we will have a look at it. I have spoken to him about it but at the moment he is not fit enough to play. He has taken part in a couple of bounce games where it wasn’t really fair to judge him. He wasn’t tested properly but fitness-wise I think he is a few weeks away. If Garry was fit, then it would perhaps be good to get him in right now but that is not the case.”

As Kenneth battles to prove his fitness, United defender Gavin Gunning is set for a scan on his hamstring.

The former Blackburn player is carrying an injury and McNamara wants to know if it is going to keep him out any longer.

He said: “We are sending Gavin Gunning for a scan on his hamstring to find out whether he tore it against Inverness. I don’t know whether he will be fit to face St Johnstone on Monday.

“If the scan comes back OK, then he might have a chance. Regardless of the outcome, we will still be looking to add during the window.

“We are seeing who is available but as everyone will tell you, it is a difficult window in terms of getting players in that you want. They might be doing well at their club and they won’t let them go.

“If they are younger ones then you are taking a gamble bringing them in on loan.

“We are a young team at the moment so it is important that we do it right.”