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Phil Foden and Jude Bellingham the perfect distraction as Kai Fotheringham blanks Dundee United rivals

Fotheringham gave Raith Rovers' midweek fixture short shrift in favour of a Champions League thriller.

Dundee United's Kai Fotheringham celebrates his brace at Hampden
Kai Fotheringham celebrates a brace at Hampden. Image: SNS

Kai Fotheringham has notched 14 Dundee United goals this term.

The Dundee United youngster boasts a further seven assists.

He made his Scotland U/21 debut in November.

And a THIRD successive winners’ medal could be imminent, following title triumphs with Stirling Albion and Cove Rangers in recent seasons.

The 20-year-old could be forgiven for taking a moment to luxuriate in his progress, having cemented his place in the United starting line-up in comprehensive style during a fine breakthrough campaign.

But nothing could be further from the truth.

Fotheringham is determined to reach even greater heights and, conceding that he can sometimes “drift in and out of games”, is striving for consistency.

Dundee United's Kai Fotheringham after scoring the opening goal against Queen's Park
Fotheringham after scoring the opening goal against Queen’s Park last week. Image: SNS

“I know in myself that I can do better in some areas,” said Fotheringham.  “I’d say there have been points during the season where I’ve not been there, in terms of consistency.

“With the standards that I set for myself, I could have 20 goals. The gaffer spoke about this as well; sometimes I can drift in and out of games.

“I want to be in games all the time and affect them. That’s the type of player I want to be – a main player. So, I want to keep progressing after this season and push for more.”

Fotheringham: I’ll always push for more

While boss Jim Goodwin has spotlighted the room for improvement, Fotheringham is adamant his OWN lofty standards will ensure he continues to tirelessly graft and grow.

Dundee united's Kai Fotheringham scores at Hampden
Fotheringham has now scored 14 goals. Image: SNS

“That (consistency) needs to come from within myself – not getting complacent when I’ve done something well and making sure I’m on it for the next game,” Fotheringham continued.

“I’ve always been like that since I was young. I always demand more. And it’s up to me in training every day to never get ahead of myself and keep my feet on the ground.”

He added: “If we do have the season we’ve aimed for, then I’ll probably sit back and say, “okay. it was a good season”.

“But for now, I’m still looking at the next game and I’m driven to add more goals and assists over the next four games. I’m always pushing for more and aiming higher. That’s how I’ll get the best out of my career.”

And should United regain their Premiership place at the first time of asking – something which Fotheringham is keen to emphasise is far from certain – he is relishing that challenge.

Kai Fotheringham's increasingly familiar goal celebration for Dundee United
Kai Fotheringham’s increasingly familiar goal celebration. Image: SNS

“Would I be more ready? 100 per cent,” Fotheringham said. “I had 11 games in the Premiership last season, and we were in the relegation positions. It was a different taste of men’s football after pushing for promotion at Stirling Albion.

“With that experience under my belt, it’s up to me – IF that were to happen (win promotion) – to push for more and step up against better players; be quicker, sharper, and still provide that goal and assist threat.”

Foden and Bellingham: The perfect distraction

Fotheringham will hope to continue his momentum on Friday when United travel to Cappielow for their televised showdown with Morton.

A victory would see the Tangerines move SEVEN points clear of title rivals Raith Rovers, who host Partick Thistle on Saturday afternoon.

That incentive comes after Rovers slipped to a 3-1 home defeat against Airdrieonians on Tuesday; a fixture that had many Arabs glued to their phones for updates.

Fotheringham, however, had bigger fish to fry.

England teammates Phil Foden and Jude Bellingham embrace after Manchester City's 3-3 draw at Real Madrid
England teammates Foden and Bellingham embrace after Manchester City’s 3-3 draw at Real Madrid. Image: Shutterstock

“I was watching Manchester City vs Real Madrid on Tuesday – watching wee (Phil) Foden…what a player!” smiled Fotheringham.

“Him and (Jude) Bellingham; they were keeping my eyes off the Raith score.

“Personally, I don’t pay too much attention to them (Raith). I think that would only fuel pressure, and if we do what we’ve been doing on the pitch recently then everything will take care of itself.”

A Cappielow dogfight

If United were to win against Morton and Raith Rovers fail to beat Thistle the following day, then the Terrors would effectively win the title with a victory against Ayr United the following weekend.

Dundee United's players celebrate Louis Moult's goal
Dundee United’s players celebrate Louis Moult’s goal at Morton last time out. Image: SNS

As such, Fotheringham acknowledges that fans may get “a bit carried away” with the permutations.

However, that won’t be happening in the United dressing room as “a battle” in Greenock looms large.

“It will be a dogfight like it was last time (1-0 win for United),” he continued. “And we’re ready for it.”