Dundee United boss Micky Mellon has revealed goalkeeper Benjamin Siegrist will appear in the club’s midweek friendly against Rangers as he steps up his recovery from a knee injury.
The 28-year-old – replaced between the sticks by Deniz Mehmet in recent games with Motherwell and Livingston – faces a race to be fit for United’s Premiership opener at home to St Johnstone on August 1.
But Tangerines boss Mellon expects his No1 to feature when his men take on Steven Gerrard’s Light Blues on Wednesday.
Paul McMullan, however, is almost certainly out of next month’s Tayside derby.
Speaking to ArabZONE after the friendly draw with Livi on Saturday, Mellon said: “Paul’s getting a hernia operation and he’ll be another couple of weeks.
“We believe big Benji will be fine for Wednesday, he can get some game time. Deniz did great for us (on Saturday), playing 90 minutes.
“Relationships are building with the group and myself. I enjoyed seeing the qualities they brought and I’ll enjoy working hard on the other stuff we need to get better at in order to become a force in this league.”
Lawrence Shankland and Calum Butcher returned to the United XI in the 0-0 draw at the weekend after respective thigh and groin injuries.
It was a bruising first-half at Tannadice, with three players requiring treatment following head knocks, including Mark Connolly who missed eight minutes of action.
But Mellon said: “He’s okay, we’re okay. We don’t have any new injuries.
“Players that needed match minutes got 45 and we’ll step it up for Wednesday. Everything’s about getting them ready for that first game of the season.
“I’m pleased with the way we competed and played at times.”
He added: “We knew the threat we were going to face.
“As I say to the players all the time, you’ve got to find the answers to the questions you’re being asked – the long throws, the direct play against a well organised and physical Livingston team
“I thought we stood up to it very well and we matched them physically which was something as a manager you’re pleased when you know you have that in the locker.
“During the season, we’re going to face that at different times in games. Knowing you’re capable of doing that, you’ll be pleased.
“We’ll get better at certain things, of course. When we work overloads from the back and we come out with good possession, we want to be better when we play into the forward areas in order to make some chances.
“We possibly had the better chances in the game. I’m pleased with what I learned. I understand what we need to work at next week, moving forward to playing Rangers on Wednesday.
“It was a valuable run out. We’ll improve as pre-season goes on and get that wee bit more quality into the group in the next couple of games.”
Meanwhile, United ace Louis Appere was delighted to be back in action at Tannadice.
The 21-year-old enjoyed the battle with Gary Holt’s outfit, who finished fifth in Scotland’s top flight last season.
He said: “It was a good test and a good physical battle. Everyone knows what Livingston are about and I think we stood up to that.
“It was nice walking out in the warm-up and just to be back at Tannadice was a good feeling.”
The forward – outstanding in the Championship title-winning campaign under ex-boss Robbie Neilson – says the squad are quickly adapting to life under new gaffer Mellon.
He said: “We’re getting there and things are looking good.
“It’s still early days but a lot of it has a big emphasis on pressing the ball quickly, getting it back and hitting the front man – not a long ball – when you can.
“It’s about then having bravery and composure on the ball and keeping the ball.”