Paul McMullan has been like “a coiled spring” in training this week as he targets a Dundee derby day return on Sunday.
That’s the assessment of Dundee boss James McPake as he prepares his side for the short journey to Tannadice this weekend.
The winger was left out of last week’s 0-0 home draw with Livingston due to injury, though McPake admitted he could have been risked.
Instead the Dens boss reckons Dundee United will be facing a re-energised Paul McMullan as he aims to get the better of his former club in the derby.
McPake said of McMullan: “He’s been brilliantly, genuinely.
“Paul McGowan is normally the best player in training but it was the first time I’d seen anyone better this week.
“He’s been like a coiled spring, he’s desperate to get out there.
“He was annoyed he didn’t play against Livingston because he felt he could have. And we missed him.
“But I think the week has done him the world of good because we’ve seen an eager Paul McMullan.
“He’s desperate to play.”
There is a chance McMullan may be joined by skipper Charlie Adam as he bids to make a quickfire recovery from a groin injury picked up at Motherwell last month.
The Dark Blues talisman saw a specialist with fears surgery would be needed.
However, McPake said on Tuesday his skipper could be fit much earlier than expected and may yet feature on Sunday.
On Adam, the Dens boss said: “He’s done a fair bit of training. In terms of strength he’s almost at full power in the tests he’s done with the physio.
“The beauty of this week is we have till Sunday to work on him.
“He told me he was a quick healer but I didn’t believe that quick.
“He’s desperate to be involved.
“That’s not a worry for me, though. I trust him. He’s so experienced that he won’t put himself out for six weeks for the sake of one game.
“We have a quarter-final a few days later so he might be more ready for that and then Rangers on Saturday.
“He’s not going to put himself into that situation and the physio won’t allow it either.
“If he’s right then I have a decision to make. If not, he’ll sit in the stand and do his work.
“It’ll be a big boost to get him back.”