Gavin Gunning has insisted he’s ready to dig Dundee United out of their desperate domestic plight. The central defender returned to Tannadice for his second stint recently and made his debut in last weekend’s 2-1 defeat by St Johnstone.
The 24-year-old, though, is relishing the prospect of lifting Mixu Paatelainen’s strugglers off the foot of the table ahead of tomorrow’s crunch clash with Hamilton on Tayside.
And Gunning is convinced United, who trail second-bottom Partick Thistle by six points, won’t languish in the basement for much longer. He said: “The best players that were here [when I last played]are gone now so it’s a completely different team, but we still have good players. Billy McKay is probably the best goal-scorer in the league but it’s been tough for him because from the games I’ve seen the service hasn’t been great for him.
“Yet he’s still scored a few goals so he’s not doing too bad.”
He added: “Usually there’s a lot of bickering when teams are struggling but I think the guys here really like each other.
“At half-time if stuff needs to be it gets said, but the good thing is that whatever is said on the pitch or at half-time stays there. We don’t hold grudges and that’s the way to work at a football club.”
Gunning left United in 2014 for Birmingham City before heading on to Oldham Athletic.
The Dubliner had injury problems but wants to erase those painful memories by ensuring United climb the table.
He said: “I played about 38 minutes for Birmingham and had a bad injury – I went to head a ball and my leg was planted on the ground when someone crashed into me and my knee just shot out. I was out for about eight months and by the time I got through the rehab from surgery the manager was sacked and then the new fellah needed money to bring in his players –and I was one of the higher paid defenders, so it was just ‘good luck, see you later’.
“It’s frustrating how it was taken away so quickly.”