IT’s been a “non-stop” start to life at Dundee United for Pavol Safranko and he’s hoping an impressive debut is just the beginning of a successful spell at Tannadice.
The Slovakian international was officially signed on Friday, despite having trained with the Tangerines through the week, and was quickly thrust into the starting XI at Queen of the South.
Despite not having much time to settle, the 23-year-old quickly opened his scoring account for United as he looped the ball over Queens keeper Alan Martin for a goal that eventually gave his new side three points.
He said: “I arrived five days before the game. It has been non-stop.
“It was only five days and my first game so I need to know how my team-mates play.
“I had four training sessions so it was a little bit crazy but it was good to help the team to win by scoring.
“I’m happy with the start but the three points were the most important thing.
“We have to start to win games but when I score it is always nice.
“It was a good pass from Frederic Frans and I saw the goalkeeper went down so I just wanted to put it behind him and I think it was a good strike.
“I think the first half was a good performance and we need to build on that.
“The second half wasn’t perfect so we need to change something there.”
Safranko joined the club on a year-long loan deal from Danish side Aalborg last week.
He was well-known to manager Csaba Laszlo, though, as they worked together at Dunajska Streda (DAC) in Slovakia.
There, Safranko knocked in six goals in 12 games after signing for the second half of the season as DAC went on an extended unbeaten run.
And the chance to work with Csaba once more was a big draw for the striker once he heard Aalborg were happy to let him leave.
He said: “I played under Csaba Laszlo in Slovakia at Dunajska Streda.
“There we were unbeaten for 16 games in a row so I know what I can expect from him and I’m looking forward to playing for him again.
“Csaba was the big part of why I joined Dundee United because I had a really good relationship with Csaba. I want to work for him.
“I can honestly say that in Denmark there is a bit more combination football but here it is a little bit more fighting which will, hopefully, suit me better.
“I can say every player dreams to play football in the United Kingdom so this was also one of the reasons I came here.”
Safranko certainly knows the Scottish Championship is about “fighting” as he was given a welcome by the Queens backline.
The makings of a black eye was clear in the Slovak’s face during and after the game as he battled with the Palmerston defenders.
“I heard the Scottish league is quite hard – now I can feel it!” he added.
“It is my style and how I play. We will see, I don’t want to speak too much because it was just my first game.”
The Tangerines now have the best part of two weeks before their next Championship fixture – time Safranko thinks they can use to their advantage.
“We will have time to train and I’m sure with this squad we can be much better in our next game.
“The first half was our good phase because I had Nicky Clark close to me. He is a good player, and we can build on it.
“Everyone fought and we have to continue with that because if just one person loses a battle, we will have problems.”