Goal machine Shankland is relishing pressure of Dundee United move

Lawrence Shankland is delighted to have signed a deal at Tannadice.
Lawrence Shankland is delighted to have signed a deal at Tannadice.

Goal machine Lawrence Shankland knows the pressure will be on him to get the goals that fire Dundee United back to the Premiership this season – and he’s relishing that.

The 23-year-old has signed up on a three-year contract at Tannadice after the Tangerines fought off competition from the likes of Sunderland and Hull City for his services.

And, after hitting the back of the net 63 times in 74 appearances for Ayr over the past two years, many of them in the Championship, Shankland knows big things are expected of him at his new club.

That, and the challenge of helping get his new team back to the top tier after four seasons away, were a major part of the reason he turned his back on the chance to move down south.

“There’s a lot of pressure on the players and the club but I am actually looking forward to it,” said the former Aberdeen kid.

“A club of this size wants to be back in the Premiership. That will be the ambition from the start, to try to win it (the Championship).

“It’s going to be a tough ask, it’s a tough league, last season showed that. Hopefully, we can get it right this year and win it.”

Shankland has also revealed his discussions with boss Robbie Neilson and the set-up at United, were a big reason behind his decision to join up.

He was impressed by the manager’s plans for both him and the club as a whole.

“It’s great to be here, it’s been a long time coming,” he added.

“I had lots of decisions to make over the summer so I’m happy to get it done.

“When I spoke to the club and the manager, the way they were speaking for my personal development and the way the club wants to go, it just suited me at this time in my career.

“I had a lot to think about but this was the best place for me.”

His new manager has paid tribute to owner Mark Ogren for putting up the cash to get Shankland and believes he’s made a major signing.

“A lot of credit must go to the owners, the board and the recruitment staff for the hard work in making this happen,” said Robbie.

“We are getting a player who has shown how good he can be at this level and we believe we can make him an even better player.”

Fans should get two chances to see the new signing this weekend, at Brechin tomorrow and Dumbarton on Saturday.