Former Dundee United star Johnny Russell says he’s delighted to see his old side finally heading in the right direction.
And after enjoying watching the Tangerines’ 6-2 thumping of rivals Dundee, Russell says he’s even planning a return to watch his former team when he comes back to Scotland during the MLS close season.
Currently a favourite at Sporting Kansas City where he’s scored seven goals in 13 MLS appearances this campaign as they chase down a play-off spot, the 29-year-old admits he keeps close attention to how United are faring.
He told the Tele: “I always keep an eye on what Dundee United are doing.
“I watched the derby a few weeks ago which was good.
“If there are any games on involving my old teams then I’ll always watch them.
“United are doing great and look to be going in the right direction.
“It’s been a difficult few years for them, being out of the top league, but hopefully this year they can get back – that would be great to see.
“My season is finishing soon so I’ll, hopefully, get a couple of games in when I’m back as well.”
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The recent derby saw 14,000 fans pack into Tannadice to see the City of Discovery’s two sides battle it out in the Championship.
Russell added: “It was good to see the full house at Tannadice, it seemed like a good atmosphere – and it was a good game to watch as well.
“Especially for United fans!
“I do keep an eye on all my old teams and all the United boys. I see more games over there than I did here so it’s good to keep tabs on all the boys.”
This week Russell was on Scotland duty as he earned his 11th international cap during the 4-0 home defeat to Belgium.
The forward was used as a late subsitute by manager Steve Clarke.
And, despite the disappointment of bruising defeats at home to Russia and Belgium, Russell insists there is much more to come from the national side.
Asked if the Scots were moving in the right direction under Clarke, Russell said: “Definitely.
“We have a young, hungry squad with a lot of quality players throughout the team.
“That’s the frustrating part because we should be doing better but, for whatever reason, it’s not quite working at the minute.
“It’s still quite new under the new manager.
“He’s obviously trying to get his ideas across and get to know everybody as well.
“There are new ideas but everyone is pulling in the same direction and, despite the disappointing results, it is good to be part of it.”
Losing to Belgium, the world’s top-ranked team, wasn’t a surprise but Russell feels frustrated at the nature of the goals that cost the Scots.
He said: “It was always going to be difficult against that level of opposition.
“The goals we gave away we wouldn’t expect to give away which was disappointing. It was a difficult couple of games against Russia and Belgium and really disappointing.
“We went into the camp with high hopes we could get it back on track but it didn’t work out that way.
“Just like the Russia game, we started really well on Monday but then they caught us on the counter. With the quality they have, it was deadly from our corner breaking down and the ball going into the net at the other end was so quick.
“That’s what that calibre of opposition can do to you. It was frustrating on our part to give that one away and then lose goals from two crosses as well.
“We wanted to get out of the group but the reality is that’s not going to happen so it’s all about fighting and showing the quality we have and gaining some momentum into the remaining matches.”