Dundee United defender Mark Connolly believes the return of Marc McNulty to Tannadice is just the spark they needed.
Striker McNulty, Sparky to his team-mates, has re-joined United on loan from Reading after also spending last season with the club.
Connolly rates the 28-year-old Scotland cap highly and hopes he can be a tonic for the Terrors after star man Lawrence Shankland’s departure to Belgium.
McNulty ‘quick and a really good finisher’
“With Shanks leaving, such a big personality in the dressing-room, but also an outstanding player, it’s tough,” the Tangerines’ vice-captain said, speaking to DUTV.
“If you give Shanks the ammunition to score, nine times out of ten he’ll get the goals.
“The timing of it was spot on…Sparky coming in has given everyone a lift.
“As a team-mate he’s a great boy – a person you want in the dressing-room.
“He’s been there, done it down in England and in Scotland and is a very good player.
“I think he probably was disappointed he didn’t play as much in his preferred position as the main striker but it was difficult because, Lawrence being Lawrence, you can’t play him ahead of him.
“I think he’ll come back now hoping to play as the main striker.
“I played against Sparky when he was down at Coventry, the year they got promoted and he’s an absolute handful.
“His movement’s amazing, he’s quick and a really good finisher.
“The big quality for me is, bringing him back into the club, he’s got a really good personality, good with the boys and everyone is buzzing to have him back.
“It’s exciting, a really good signing and it’s good we know about him and he understands the club.
“It says a lot that he’s went away and came back because I think he had a few other options.”
Shanks backed to shine at Beerschot
Although gutted to be losing talismanic goal-getter Shankland to Belgian top-tier side Beerschot, Connolly is backing his mate to star on the continent.
Once his team-mates can understand him that is.
The Irishman added: “He’s a boy who had a tough early career where he was knocked back at Aberdeen and had a bit of a downfall but now he’s rising with a move to a different country.
“It’s a new experience for him and his family.
“I spoke to him on the phone the other night and he said he felt like (United’s Argentine winger) Adrian (Sporle) when he first came to the club.
“Adrian would normally do a voice note in Spanish and send it, now Lawrence is thinking of doing the same in front of everyone in his Scottish accent!
“He said the welcome he’s had from all the boys has made it easy for him. Obviously, he knows big Freddy Frans, who’s a really good guy.
“He’s scored a lot of goals in Scotland and was an unbelievable servant for the club.
“Everyone’s disappointed we’re not going to have him here but I think it also tells you a lot that everyone is happy for him to go and try something new.
“It speaks volumes of him as a player and a person.
“I’m convinced he’ll go there and score a lot of goals.”