Dundee United winger Paul McMullan believes star man Lawrence Shankland has come a long way since their St Mirren days and deserves every bit of success he gets.
The United pair had a brief spell on loan at the Paisley club together in the 2015/16 season, with then-Aberdeen hitman Shanks netting 10 Championship goals for the Buddies that term.
A Celtic youngster at the time, McMullan spent half of the campaign in Paisley before switching to Morton in January on another loan.
And the 23-year-old believes both have come a long way since, riding high at the top of the Championship with the Tangerines and Shankland now a full Scotland international.
“We had three or four months together at St Mirren and the two of us have got a lot better since then,” McMullan said.
“We were very young when we had that spell and, obviously, Lawrence is in and around the Scotland squad so he’s come on massively. Hopefully, he can keep getting even better.
“You don’t usually get that recognition in the league we’re playing in and it’s brilliant he’s got it and thoroughly deserves it but guys are just churning away trying to get results for Dundee United.”
McMullan admits he has enjoyed being reunited with Shankland at Tannadice and is loving life with him, Nicky Clark and Louis Appere to aim for.
He added: “When you’ve got a guy that finishes off chances like that he’s always going to score the majority of the goals. And when we’re creating as many chances as that, and he’s got that finishing power, he’s going to get a lot of goals.
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“We’ve showed through the weeks it’s not only Lawrence that scores the goals, I think that was Clarky’s third in a week (in the derby) so it’s good that everybody is chipping in.
“It’s nice having him and Clarky in there and big Louis coming in at the back. It’s actually difficult to miss sometimes but it’s good because you know if you get something right nine times out of 10 it’s going in.”
United will be without Shankland, who is on Scotland duty, for Saturday’s visit of Queen of the South but manager Robbie Neilson insists they will manage fine without him, pointing to Clark as a potential solution. He said: “To get Nicky on the scoresheet in the derby bodes well for Saturday.”