Dundee boss James McPake says Dundee United fans should think twice before booing Paul McMullan in tomorrow’s crunch derby clash.
The Dark Blues boss said his chief creator is fit and raring to go for the Sunday lunchtime kick-off after missing out against Livingston last week.
And it will be his first return to the club he won the Championship with just 18 months ago.
Coming back to Tannadice wearing the dark blue of rivals Dundee is unlikely to earn McMullan many friends in the home end.
However, McPake insists his winger deserves credit for the role he played in United’s return to the top flight.
“He’s nothing to prove to Dundee United,” the Dens boss said.
“They’ll be worried about him.
“What does Paul McMullan have to prove to Dundee United? In my opinion, he got them out of the Championship.
“People will say Shankland’s goals got them out of the Championship but I’d like to see how many of those were assisted by Paul McMullan.
“He has proved in spades what he is all about up here.”
‘I’m amazed we got him’
He added: “Will he get stick? I hope not but if he does he’ll handle it no problem.
“I’ll probably get more stick, Leigh Griffiths will get more stick, Charlie Adam, Paul McGowan – there’s loads of us who will.
“If anything they should be applauding him for getting them out of the Championship.
“Paul McMullan was a massive part of where they are just now.
“That’s why I was amazed we got him – I still am.
“The Dundee United players will be wary and their fans will be wary.
“I’m sure because it’s derby week they will be saying he wasn’t that good for them, he’s not good enough for the Premiership and all that stuff.
“But he’s a massive reason they are in this league.”
Fear factor and Greg Stewart
McMullan initially joined the Dark Blues on a loan deal in the Championship last January after signing a pre-contract deal at Dens Park.
He immediately made a difference to Dundee’s promotion push as he racked up assist after assist.
And McPake says the attacking influence McMullan provides reminds him of former team-mate Greg Stewart at Dens Park.
“In terms of signings, for the overall impact, Paul is the best one I’ve made,” McPake said.
“Paul came in and made us a real attacking threat.
“He made goals and he brought a fear factor back to the club I don’t think we’d had since Greg Stewart.
“I see it in training, players are scared to face him up because they know he’ll hit the byline and cross it.
“Paul is a throwback winger. These days they all like to come in the pitch, but Paul wants to go down the side and cross it.
“He’s told us he’s fitter now, we have got him right and we are looking forward to seeing him play at Tannadice on Sunday.”