Manager Robbie Neilson has all the options he could want to plot a way through the Premiership play-offs – one man he’s certain to call on, though, is Pavol Safranko.
The 24-year-old, known as ‘Pav’ around Tannadice, has been a real fans’ favourite since joining the club on loan from Danish side Aalborg back in August.
His last goal was one of global fame as Fifa tweeted a fine team goal from the Tangerines finished off with another incredible volley (see video below).
A previous relationship with then-manager Csaba Laszlo brought the Slovakia international to the Tangerines.
Shortly after signing, he told the Tele it was a dream to come to play in this country: “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.”
The style of football in the Scottish second tier has certainly suited Safranko, prompting interest from other clubs in this country, including Aberdeen.
United, however, are doing all they can to hold on to their star striker – a player they are hoping can fire them to back to the Premiership at the third time of asking.
With 14 goals scored in his 36 matches for the Tangerines, the four-cap forward has done his part on the scoring front but his all-round play at the top end of the field has made a real difference.
And Safranko has shown he’s a man for a goal on the big occasion.
August 11 – Queen of the South 1-2 Dundee Utd
It may not have been the biggest match of the season but it was Safranko’s debut, just five days after arriving in the city.
Within half-an-hour he’d announced his arrival with a super chipped finish to give his side three points on his first outing.
October 13 – Partick Thistle 1-2 Dundee Utd
The Jags were struggling at this point but so were United, prompting them to bin Laszlo and bring in Robbie Neilson. In the current gaffer’s first game, Safranko grabbed another winner.
October 20 – Dundee Utd 1-1 ICT
Against a potential play-off opponent the Slovakian again found the net, knocking in the opener before Jordan White made it a point apiece.
February 9 – St Mirren 1-2 Dundee Utd
There’s plenty water to pass under the bridge yet but the play-off final could be a replay of this Scottish Cup clash back in February. The Tangerines went to the home of the Buddies and came away with a fine victory. Once more Safranko was in among the goals when it mattered.
April 5 – Ross County 1-1 Dundee Utd
With just seconds to go it looked like Pav’s rasping opener had kept United’s title hopes alive with a win at the Staggies. Jamie Lindsay would dash those hopes in stoppage time.
April 12 – Dundee Utd 2-1 Ayr
Coming off the bench, Safranko showed his quality by chesting down in the area and smashing a superb volley into the top corner against another potential play-off opponent.
April 20 – ICT 1-2 Dundee Utd
His last goal was one of global fame as Fifa tweeted a fine team goal from the Tangerines finished off with another incredible volley (see below).