Scott Allan was very circumspect having heard his every touch booed by Dundee United fans during Sunday’s Dundee derby.
He simply shrugged his shoulders and admitted he will just need to get used to it, since he can expect it to happen nearly every weekend this season. This gauntlet includes Easter Road, where he enjoyed such a good rapport with the Hibernian fans until their relationship went sour.
“I will probably take a wee bit from there (Easter Road) – I will look forward to it,” Allan said yesterday.
Hibs travel to Dens Park later this month, while Allan is scheduled to return to Easter Road with Dundee on 4 November. But there are other dates in his diary circled with a red pen by Allan, who is relishing being the pantomime villain at a variety of grounds this season.
Aged just 25, the midfielder, who has signed for Dundee on a season-long loan from Celtic, has already racked up an impressive list of enemies.
United supporters will get another opportunity to voice their dislike for him when the teams meet again next Wednesday in the Betfred Cup second round. Then there are the Rangers fans who view Allan with contempt for having joined Celtic instead of the Ibrox club two seasons ago.
There is also the matter of those aforementioned Hibs fans, who felt somewhat miffed that he wanted to leave Easter Road in the first place for either Rangers or Celtic. On top of this there are the Hearts fans who loved to loathe him when he played for Hibs, something which isn’t about to change now he is wearing dark blue. Indeed, Allan is probably relishing this weekend’s league kick-off against Ross County since it is unlikely – but not impossible – that fans of the Dingwall club have any sort of beef with him.
He smiled yesterday when he recalled the reception from the Dundee United fans, who were so unhappy at the manner he departed the Tannadice club for West Bromwich Albion aged only 19 and after making just three appearances.
“It is not the only set of fans I am going to take it from this year,” he said. “I am looking forward to it. It is part and parcel of football and the way I have left quite a few clubs, what can you do?
“I can just try and play football,” he continued. “For me, it is just about getting better and better week-in week-out, and getting a run of games and getting as fit as I can be. I hope I can silence them (the United fans) next time out.
Although he is still young it seems – and was – a long time ago since he wore a tangerine shirt. Allan left Tannadice more than five years ago, in January 2012.
“A lot of people I was there with aren’t there now either,” he said. “I saw a few familiar faces and I said ‘hello’ when I came in (on Sunday) but that was it. I am a Dundee player.
“I wanted to win but it wasn’t to be. Hopefully, we can put it right in a couple of weeks’ time. We have avoided a few of the bigger teams and the way we finished against them gives us hope going into the next game against them.”
Dundee were upbeat despite having fallen to a penalty shootout defeat against their nearest rivals. While they had to accept United had secured top spot in the group they were gifted a second chance to put things right against them when drawn to face their rivals in the last 16. Dundee were further cheered by being given a home draw.
Allan was replaced with 12 minutes to go and was frustrated by his own performance. “I thought I didn’t get on the ball enough,” he said.
Perhaps surprisingly, Allan was deployed in a wide left position for the most part against United.
But manager Neil McCann could play the talented playmaker just behind a main striker or else in the middle of midfield, where you sense he might be happier.
“You need to do a job for the team, that is what it is about here,” he said. “I thought (Rorie) Deacon had a very good game – very direct. If it is not coming from me then he can provide something.
“Then there’s Paul McGowan, who will run all day for you. It was coming from all areas of the park. We just need to now put the ball in the net.”