Young Dundee United striker Louis Appere says he’s got the perfect role model in former Rangers and Scotland man Lee McCulloch.
The ex-Kilmarnock player and manager has taken 20-year-old Appere under his wing at Tannadice as the youngster has emerged into the first team.
Both are celebrating along with manager Robbie Neilson and McCulloch’s fellow-assistant Gordon Forrest after signing contract extensions until the summer of 2022.
Appere said: “Lee McCulloch has been brilliant with me and really helped me a lot.
“He has played in the same position as me and has helped with a lot of different things, looking back at games, training drills that he wants me to work on and things I can do better.
“If I can aim for it, I’d be very happy to have a career like his.
“He just tells me to believe in myself, that’s the big thing and take what I do in training into games.
“I feel I’m starting to do that now.”
Appere has shot to prominence in the United first team after impressing in pre-season.
He’s featured 13 times this campaign for the Tangerines, scoring twice, and is determined to kick on now he has his future at the club sealed, for the next two-and-a-half years anyway.
“I’m really happy to get it all signed and done,” Appere said.
“Since I came in at the start of the season, it’s been great.
“I maybe didn’t expect to start the very first game but the manager gave me a chance after a good pre-season so I now want to repay the faith he has shown in me.
“I think going out on loan to Broughty Athletic in the juniors last season gave me a lot of confidence which has helped.
“All the coaches at United, too, have been great with me through pre-season and then coming in for the first few games, they were all really positive.
“I always backed myself in the first team if I got a chance.
“I knew I would at least give everything I had.”
He added: “This contract is a big moment.
“Before the season, I wasn’t a first-team regular and now to be classed as that is a good feeling – I just want to make sure I stay a first-team regular now.”
Appere is in the squad for today’s clash at Queen of the South as the Tangerines aim to get back to winning ways following the 1-0 defeat to Alloa a fortnight ago.