Cen­tu­rion McMul­lan looks to the fu­ture af­ter mark­ing mile­stone with goal

Evening Times - - SPORT - Euan McArthur

PAUL McMUL­LAN savoured a mem­o­rable mile­stone for Dundee United be­fore telling how club leg­end Dave Narey chal­lenged him to as­sume the lime­light.

McMul­lan proved his worth once more with the open­ing goal in Satur­day’s 3-0 win over Queen of the South which moved Rob­bie Neil­son’s men 12 points ahead of sec­ond-top Ayr United and nine clear of city ri­vals Dundee in their quest for the ti­tle.

The 23-year-old winger marked his 100th ap­pear­ance for the club by be­ing pre­sented with a com­mem­o­ra­tive jer­sey by for­mer Tangerines de­fender Narey be­fore kick-off, and things got even better when he opened the scor­ing mid­way through the first half thanks to his classy fin­ish from out­side the box.

Nicky Clark then dou­bled their ad­van­tage just prior to half-time, and Sam Stan­ton struck early in the sec­ond half to seal the win.

And McMul­lan, who joined the Tay­side club from Celtic in the sum­mer of 2017, told how for­mer United de­fender Narey urged him to make his day truly spe­cial by en­sur­ing he hit the target for the re­lent­less Cham­pi­onship lead­ers.

“It ab­so­lutely was spe­cial,” said McMul­lan.

“It was a nice touch from the club to give me the jer­sey and to get it pre­sented by a leg­end like David Narey was re­ally good.

“To top it off with a goal was great. He asked me for a goal.

“I did my best to de­liver that for him and hope­fully he en­joyed the game. It was cer­tainly nice to meet him.

“I had seen in the match pro­gramme a cou­ple of weeks ago that I was get­ting close [to 100].

“I didn’t re­alise un­til I had seen some­thing on­line that I had made it. “It is a nice achieve­ment.

“It doesn’t seem like it has taken a long time, to be hon­est. It has gone in quite quickly be­cause it has only been two-and-a bit years.

“That’s a lot of games and hope­fully there are a lot more to come for me.”

United are look­ing a strong bet to pro­ceed to­wards the ti­tle with this be­ing their fifth straight league win and clean sheet.

But McMul­lan was keen to play down such talk as they bid to se­cure a long-awaited re­turn to the Pre­mier­ship, with the Tay­side club hav­ing failed in each of the the pre­vi­ous three cam­paigns to se­cure pro­mo­tion back to the top flight.

He added: “I thought, as a team, we played re­ally well.

“I had an­other cou­ple of chances so could maybe have had an­other cou­ple of goals but I am just happy that we got the three points.

“It is good and next time we play we will try to get even more of a gap.

“We are just try­ing to get as many wins and cleans sheets and see where it takes us.

“With the teams clos­est to us not play­ing we knew that it was a good chance to open up the gap at the top.

“Thank­fully, we did that.” This was made all the more im­pres­sive as the hosts were with­out striker Lawrence Shank­land, who was in Cyprus with Scot­land on Euro 2020 Cham­pi­onship qual­i­fy­ing duty.

McMul­lan be­lieved Neil­son’s men proved they can cope with­out their tal­is­man for­ward, who has al­ready banged in 19 goals in all com­pe­ti­tions this sea­son.

He said: “I have said be­fore that Lawrence is our num­ber nine so when you cre­ate the num­ber of chances we do, it is nat­u­ral that he is the one who is scor­ing most of the goals.

“What this re­sult shows is that we can get goals from other ar­eas of the pitch, which is al­ways nice.

“For my own goal, I had a lot of time to think about it be­cause Louis Ap­pere had two or three touches be­fore he laid it back to me.

“My shot ended up ex­actly where I hoped it was go­ing so I was pleased with the fin­ish.

“It’s so im­por­tant get­ting these clean sheets be­cause that’s what re­sults are built on.

“The guys at the back have been bril­liant and long may that con­tinue.”

Dundee United winger Paul McMul­lan marked his 100th ap­pear­ance for the club with a goal

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