The signing of Marc McNulty was exactly what Dundee United’s attack needed, according to his fellow frontman Nicky Clark.
Clark responded to the arrival of another forward at the club in the best way possible, scoring two goals as the Tangerines beat Brechin 6-2 in the Betfred Cup at Glebe Park on Wednesday night.
It was a clear signal to manager Micky Mellon that Clark won’t just accept that McNulty’s arrival on loan from Reading means his own game time will be limited.
Indeed, Clark has welcomed the former Hibs man – or “Sparky” to his pals – to the club and thinks the deal was just what was required to boost United’s forward line as they establish themselves in the Premiership this season.
Clark said: “That’s just what we needed.
“We needed another striker and Sparky has scored a lot of goals.
“He did well for Hibs last season and knows what it is all about.
“It is competition for places but you need that at a big club.
“I am sure he will bring a lot of quality here.
“Marc has also been involved with Scotland as well and for us to sign him it shows what we are doing as a club and where the board want to take United.
“I am sure he will come here and score a right few goals for us.”
Clark found the net himself twice early on against City to set up the victory but could have had more goals.
He admitted: “I probably should have had a hat-trick.
“I had a chance that was just behind me and the other one the goalkeeper has made a decent save with his leg.
“I am still delighted to have scored two goals and to have won the game.
“I am up to five for the season now but I never set targets, although I always want to score as many goals as I can.
“We scored six goals in one game and can take the positives from it.
“It is a competition we want to do well in and to get as far as possible.
“Over the years the club has won trophies and we want to go and continue that, in every competition were are involved in.
“We take the Betfred Cup seriously and we move on to Peterhead on Saturday.”
Clark has a special link to the Blue Toon, having started his career there, first on loan from Aberdeen then joining them in 2010 after leaving the Dons.
He is obviously looking forward to facing Jim McInally’s men, saying: “My spell there was a long time ago and it was a loan deal that went permanent.
“I loved it up there because it was my first taste of first-team football.
“I was playing against men as a young player and it was good for me.
“I am looking forward to facing them at the weekend.”
United had a lot to be happy about at Glebe Park, especially their clinical finishing, but they were still rather leaky at the back.
As well as scoring twice City had some terrific chances, some of which came gift-wrapped from the visitors’ defence.
Tannadice assistant boss Stevie Frail admitted there is work to do at the back.
“It was a good win in the end of for us because we scored six goals and were 4-0 up but we gave two sloppy goals away,” he said.
“We expected Brechin to get chances but perhaps not in the manner in which they did.
“That’s something for us to look at when we do the analysis.
“We will look at that and work out where we can improve.
“It is evident there is work for us to do defensively, whether it’s stopping the cross better or defend the box better or a culmination of things.
“We know we can do better defensively – a blind man can see that.”
Frail hinted that United new boy McNulty could feature as soon as Saturday.
He said: “We are looking forward to quickly getting Marc to a level of fitness where he can get into the team.
“Once he is in the team, be it (against) Peterhead, Kelty or Aberdeen, the fans will be in for a treat.”
Some United players got a bit bruised and battered against Brechin, including Clark, but Frail isn’t too worried.
He added: “We have three or four head knocks and there were three or four black eyes.
“Calum Butcher got one, as did Nicky Clark and Mark Connolly. There are a few bumps and bruises but they should be fine for the game at the weekend.”