Dundee United midfielder Scott Fraser hopes his injury nightmare is over at last

Scott Fraser in action earlier in the season.

Will the real Scott Fraser please stand up? The answer to that question is now he literally can, he plans to make sure he’s seen on a regular basis in a Dundee United shirt.

Since breaking into the first team when Jackie McNamara was in charge what will soon be four managers ago, at times Fraser has shown he has enormous potential.

For much of this year his form has been patchy and, at times, that’s brought criticism of his performances.

In the midfielder’s defence, it’s been well documented continuing problems a broken metatarsal suffered at St Mirren back in March has had a lot to do with his ups and downs.

Scott Fraser hobbles off due to an injury in the game against Brechin in August.

Fraser has tried to battle through them and even ignored medical opinion and returned early to play a cameo role in United’s play-off campaign at the end of last season.

He had a rest over the summer but was still hampered by the injury when the current campaign kicked off, leading to limited appearances and, when he’s played, he has not always been at his best.

Saturday’s inspirational display in the much-needed 2-0 win at Dumbarton was his first start since the teams drew 1-1 at Tannadice back in early September.

And only now has Fraser revealed just how much the injury has held him back.

“It’s been a nightmare. When I broke my foot I was told it would be a six-to-eight-week thing. Six-and-a-half months on or something and that’s the first game when I haven’t been in pain.

The United midfielder in action against Dumbarton at the weekend

“At times it was really bad and it is only over the last two weeks since I tried to step things up in training again that I haven’t felt any problems.

“Then Saturday was the first game since I did it that I’ve not felt it, so, touch wood, that’s me over it now.”

He admits his frustration was not helped any by the news early last week boss Ray McKinnon had been sacked.

“It made me feel terrible. It may not have been my fault I wasn’t playing but you don’t feel good about not being able to be on the park helping out. It was a hard week for everyone, not just me, and the mood wasn’t great at the beginning of last week.”

That United bounced back to win at bogey-team Dumbarton with one of their best performances of the season so far was, he believes, down in no small part to caretaker boss Laurie Ellis and his fellow coaches.

“We were all down but Laurie, Dave Bowman and Stuart Garden worked hard with us all week to get us focused and make sure we were ready for Dumbarton.

“It must have been very hard for Laurie because the gaffer brought him to the club and they’re good friends. He was very professional, though, and they put on some good sessions and got us right.”

Dundee United’s Scott Fraser and Matty Smith (right) congratulate Sam Stanton after opening the scoring at Dumbarton during the Tangerines’ 2-0 win on Saturday.

Fraser also credits fans who, just a week earlier, had booed the team off the pitch but travelled to Dumbarton and got right behind the players.

“When something like what’s happened does, you do wonder how the fans will be. We’d let them down but, from the minute we went out for the warm-up, they were right behind us and we really appreciate that.

“It can go either way after a manager’s been sacked. I’m 22 but I already know that because there have been a few changes since I broke into the first team and it is hard when it happens.”

Indeed, while Fraser expresses no preference regarding who the new boss should be, his big wish is they hang around for a while.

“That would be good because you want to build up a relationship and learn from them. A few times already I’ve felt that’s been happening and then they’re gone and it’s not a nice thing to see.”