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Gavin Gunning’s regret over Dundee United exit

Mixu Paatelainen has words with Gavin Gunning after the incident that led to his departure from Tannadice.
Mixu Paatelainen has words with Gavin Gunning after the incident that led to his departure from Tannadice.

Gavin Gunning has expressed regret over his controversial Dundee United departure – but is ready to get his career back on track.

Gunning left United by mutual consent back in April, just days after a bizarre incident against Inverness at Tannadice when he picked up the ball during play and walked off the pitch.

The 25-year-old returned to the field to receive treatment for an injury before being substituted and it was claimed he sarcastically applauded fans who gave him stick on his way to the tunnel.

Now Gunning, who rejoined the Tangerines in November 2015 from English outfit Oldham Athletic, wants to put it all behind him as he looks for a fresh start.

“It was one of those unfortunate things,” he said. “I just picked the ball up because I was injured. I didn’t want to take any more risks.

“I had a nerve problem in my knee as it turns out but it was something we couldn’t really get to the bottom of.

“I’ve had two operations on my knee in the past so it’s not always been easy for me.

“I obviously didn’t want things to turn out the way they did at Dundee United because I believed when I rejoined that we could still stay up.

“But there’s no bad feeling on leaving and I’ve always had a good relationship with the fans which won’t change. United are a good club and I wish them all the best for the future.”

Gunning is adamant he did everything he could to try and prevent his old club from being relegated to the Championship, and cited playing through the pain barrier in their 1-1 draw away to Hamilton in mid-February.

He said: “I hadn’t trained at all that week going into the Hamilton game.

“I almost collapsed on the pitch because I was just feeling so ill.

“I had barely any energy left so I think that playing under such circumstances shows how committed I was to the cause.”

Gunning added: “I’m ready for the next stage in my career.

“I haven’t become a bad player overnight.

“In my first spell at Dundee United, Ipswich Town wanted to sign me for £800,000 and Rangers were also interested.

“So I know what I’m capable of and just want to put things behind me and move on.

“It’s more likely I’ll move back down to England but you never know in football what can happen.

“I’ve been keeping fit throughout the summer. It’s all about being in good shape for when the opportunity arises – wherever that may be.”

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