He’s struggled to find his old spark this season but Marc McNulty is eager to chip in with more goals before the end of his Dundee United loan.
McNulty, Sparky to his team-mates, notched just his third of the campaign in United’s 1-0 win over Hamilton on Saturday.
Much was expected of the Scotland cap when he checked in at Tannadice but the Reading man has struggled to hit the heights he achieved in a previous loan stint at Hibs.
His role in boss Micky Mellon’s system, often starting out wide, has played its part in his inconsistent scoring form.
However, the 28-year-old former Livingston and Coventry striker was keen to stress he’s enjoyed his time with the Tangerines, taking responsibility for his low numbers.
Explaining the thinking behind his temporary move north, McNulty appeared keen to return to Berkshire and fight for his place.
‘There’s a few games left and if I can chip in with another few goals…I’ll be happy’
“It’s a great club with great people and it was a chance to come up and play football,” he said.
“It’s not been the best in terms of return as a striker.
“I’d have loved to come up and finish the season saying I’d scored double figures.
“That’s not been the case and I look at myself, first and foremost, because I’ve probably not been the best I’ve ever been.
“I’ve not been the most consistent but there’s a few games left and if I can chip in with another few goals and wins for the club and do as well as I can I’ll be happy.
“I want to do well for a great club and it’s been good all round.
“I’ve still got another year at Reading so, at the minute, the plan is to go back down the road and speak to the manager.
“Hopefully it’s the same manager! I’ll speak to him and see what his plans are and take it from there.”
Fuchs praised as McNulty celebrates third of the season
McNulty, who has also scored against Kilmarnock and Rangers this term, was delighted to help United secure a crucial three points at New Douglas Park as he capitalised on an error from stand-in home goalie Kyle Gourlay.
His strike after six minutes, calmly slotting beyond Gourlay in the Accies net after being played in by Jeando Fuchs, helped secure the Terrors’ Premiership status.
In their first season back at the top table, it’s an important milestone for the club and one not lost on McNulty.
He also took the time to laugh off any frustrations he’s had over being played out of position this season after starting as a central striker in Lanarkshire.
“It’s good because it’s been sort of hard to get a goal this season,” he admitted.
“It was all about securing the club’s status in this league on Saturday and to get a goal and win the game was brilliant.
“It makes a difference being right up top. I don’t want to seem like I’m moaning every week in the press saying I’m out of position, though!
“It’s just one of those things and typical that I go up front on Saturday and score.
“It’s good be in those positons, centrally on the pitch, because as a striker that’s the gift you want to pray on slack passing.
“Your midfielder will slip you in, like Jeando did for myself and I’m just delighted to get a goal.”
Shanks link-up appealed to Reading forward
McNulty linked well with strike partner Lawrence Shankland all afternoon as Mellon went two up top.
He insists striking up a relationship with Shanks was a huge reason for joining United.
“It’s great and one of the reasons that I joined the club,” he added.
“Shanks had done so well and the manager said we’d work together well and, because we’ve changed shapes quite a lot, we’ve not worked together that much.
“You could see, in spells in that game, we linked up pretty well.
“It wasn’t the best of displays from both of us, it was just one of those games, but it’s definitely something where the more we work together the better.”
Accies defender Martin didn’t fancy a scrap with Sparky
Referee Bobby Madden was forced into booking both McNulty and Hamilton defender Aaron Martin after the pair got embroiled in a second-half scuffle.
Despite giving up nearly six inches in height to the big Accies defender, McNulty was adamant he had Martin on toast.
He commented: “Hamilton are scrapping for their lives and we’re trying to secure our status in the league so we knew it was going to be a bit of a tough game.
“I said to Bobby after the game: ‘You had a nightmare today!’
“Nothing happened really it was just a coming together or handbags, if you will.
“Both of us were fighting for something and a bit of feistiness in the game doesn’t go amiss.
“I don’t think he fancied it!”