Micky Mellon laughs when asked about Marc McNulty as striker gets set for first Dundee United start
It means potentially lining up alongside fellow Scotland striker Lawrence Shankland. The Tannadice manager has revealed that not only is McNulty up to speed in terms of fitness he is also raising spirts in the camp with his bubby nature. The former Hibs striker joined United on loan from Reading during the transfer window. He has only started two games this season, both times in the Carabao Cup for his parent club.
He made his United debut as a second-half substitute in last weekend’s 0-0 draw with Aberdeen at Tannadice and briefly linked up with Shankland. With United finding goals harder to come by this season many fans are looking forward to Shankland and McNulty establishing a strike partnership. It sounds as though the forwards will start together for the first time as soon as tomorrow, when United travel to McDiarmid Park. The teams drew 1-1 at the start of the season.
“I’m laughing because he’s such a character,” said Mellon when asked about McNulty’s progress. “He just makes me laugh because he’s brought so much to the club already – he’s infectious.
“He’s one of those guys that will always tell you he’s ready so you’ve got to pull him back but he is ready now, I’m confident in saying that. He’s a really good player, an infectious character who loves football and coming in every day to train. He has been a really big addition to the group.”
Mellon said he was actively seeking players who have a gallus nature while also demonstrating they can play a bit. McNulty scored four goals while on loan at Hibs in the second half of last season. He struck eight times while he was at Easter Road for the same period 12 months earlier, when he was also called up by Scotland.
“I like characters and for people to come in and show they’ve got a little bit about them,” said Mellon. “We’ve certainly got enough of that at the minute. It’s good to have that in the group and all different of types of people. Marc’s certainly brought another good type to the club and I’m really pleased to have him here added to the ones we already had.
“We do have a laugh sometimes, a wee cackle now and again, so it’s good to be able to do that.”
One newcomer for whom tomorrow’s game has come too soon is Cameroon international midfielder Jeando Fuchs. He signed from La Liga side Alaves earlier this month.
“It’s going to be too early,” said Mellon. “I know it will disappoint a lot of people but he’s a way back in terms of fitness and we need to get him up to speed. It wouldn’t be sensible to fling him in too early and risk injury. But he’s moving along at a sensible pace and getting a micro pre-season training in to him.
“We try to have intense training and it’s about getting him to take full part, but he’s a little bit short at the minute,” he added. “McNulty is probably now in that place we’d like to get Fuchs to, playing at full tilt with us.”
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