The feeling of being wanted again has persuaded attacker Paul McMullan to pledge his future to Dundee United – just seven months after he was all but shown the door.
After the 23-year-old turned in a Man-of-the-Match performance in Tuesday’s massive 1-0 win over Championship leaders Ross County, boss Robbie Neilson said following recent talks, he’s now offered the former Scotland U/21 kid a new contract.
And McMullan’s revealed the faith his gaffer has shown in him since taking over from Csaba Laszlo in October means he’s very close to agreeing terms.
That represents a remarkable change in fortune, having been told just before the end of the August transfer window he was free to find another club.
“I’m not far away, it’s just the final wee bit and, hopefully, we get it done sooner rather than later,” he said.
“For one reason or another, the previous manager wasn’t having me but the gaffer’s come in and made it clear to me I’m part of his plans.
“That gives you a boost and, like I did the other night, you want to give everything any time he gives you a chance.
“Saying that, for me, it doesn’t matter what situation you find yourself in, you don’t stop working and I’ve always done my best when I’ve been picked. Any time you get a chance to play you have to give everything.
“But there is nothing better as a player than somebody who treats you well and is talking to you all the time.
“I’ve, obviously, experienced the other side of it when you are quite clearly not wanted, so when you are, you feel 100 times better for it.”
He repaid the faith shown in him by Robbie by playing a major part on Tuesday and now he’s aiming to help United get even closer to County.
“It’s eight points, still a big gap but we play twice before they play again, so it’s on us. We can put a bit of pressure on them and all we can do is go and win our games and see how they react.
“Obviously, it’s still in Ross County’s hands and, if they win all their games there’s nothing we can do, but we have to make sure we are winning.
“All we can do is put pressure on and see where it leaves us.”
United have Peter Pawlett and Mark Connolly doubtful for the weekend.
Both had to come off on Tuesday night because of muscle tightness.