Dundee United winger McMullan says he’s learned from seeing red

Dundee United’s Paul McMullan cuts a dejected figure as he is sent off for an early bath after his sending-off offence.
Dundee United’s Paul McMullan cuts a dejected figure as he is sent off for an early bath after his sending-off offence.

Ultimately, it didn’t hurt his team — but Dundee United’s flying winger Paul McMullan has pledged to learn from his recent red card.

The 21-year-old was grateful to his team-mates as they battled on for almost an hour after he went off for slapping his hand into Shaun Rooney’s face.

McMullen was trying to break free of the Queen of the South full-back’s wrestling-style attempt to halt his progress during United’s 2-1 win at Tannadice a fortnight ago.

But for their efforts he knows the consequences of this early bath could have been more serious.

And, on top of that, the former Celtic kid admits being forced to sit out the next two games was not pleasant.

“In the end it didn’t cost us very much because we still got the win but it’s definitely something I will learn from and I won’t react again,” he said.

“To be honest I just went to push him but I’ve got a nudge and my hand’s ended up going into his face.

“It looks worse than it probably was but I looked back at it on the video and there was no way I could really appeal because you see my arm flailing.

Paul McMullan and QOS full-back Shaun Rooney get in a tangle which led to the sending off

“You just have to accept it and take the two games.

“Thankfully, I served them in a short period of time and I can look forward to the weekend.”

There was relief among the Tangerines backroom staff that one of his games in the sin bin was the less-important Irn-Bru Cup clash with Cowdenbeath and not a league fixture — but McMullan admits he didn’t see things that way.

“I want to be involved in every game I can and to be sitting in the stand watching both the games I missed was really frustrating.

“It’s the manager’s decision how he wants to use his squad for these cup games and if he wants to rest players every week but I would have been happy to play and I didn’t enjoy watching it or the Brechin game in the league.

“The ban did maybe come at a good time because we’ve had a lot of games recently and maybe the wee rest has done me good. But I’m raring to go for the rest of the season.”

In McMullan’s absence, United were not at their best against Brechin and, even though they edged a 1-0 win last weekend, there was a feeling of disappointment in the dressing-room.

After the final whistle, though, McMullan was quick to point out it could have been a vital result.

“Every game is important. You don’t know how tight it’s going to be at the end of the season.

“It could be one point that decides things, so you have to take the chance whenever you can take points and get as many as you can.

“Thankfully, the boys got the points last Saturday, that’s what mattered.”

Now the focus is on the trip to St Mirren and trying to go into the international break on the back of a perfect league record.

To do that United will need to overcome a Buddies side that have been tipped by many as dark horses for promotion. McMullan understands why.

“St Mirren finished the season really well last year and got a very good win last Saturday.

“This has the makings of a very good game and, hopefully, we can play better than maybe we did last weekend.

“It would be great to keep the winning run going. If you offered us going in we’d start with four wins, we’d have taken that.

“That’s what we’re aiming for now. It doesn’t matter whether it’s 1-0 wins or 5-1, four wins out of four would be great.”