Craig Slater is determined to help Dundee United get back to where he believes they belong – in the Premiership.
The 23-year-old was snapped up by Tannadice boss Csaba Laszlo on loan until the end of the season from Colchester United on Wednesday.
The former Scotland Under-21 and Kilmarnock star has endured a difficult time in recent months at the English club with injury.
However, he is now fully fit and raring to go in a tangerine shirt, hopefully in tomorrow’s vital Championship fixture with Falkirk.
Slater said: “Coming out of the game on Saturday for Colchester, the chairman pulled me in and said Dundee United wanted to take me on loan.
“As soon as I heard, it was a no-brainer.
“I drove up the road on Wednesday and trained yesterday. I’m just delighted to be here.
“This is a big club. I know we’re in the Championship just now but a team like Dundee United shouldn’t be in this league.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge ahead. Hopefully I can be part of the team that gets back to the top flight.
“Speak to anyone, and they’ll tell you what’s missing is Dundee United back in the top flight.
“I used to love playing at Tannadice when I was at Kilmarnock and I got my first Scotland under-21 cap there against Hungary.
“I’ve got good memories so hopefully that will continue.”
Slater admitted he is just looking forward to playing regular football again.
He added: “There was talk of going out on loan. I had struggled for games in the past wee while and had picked up a few injuries.
“I had a double hernia and then at the start of the season I had a hip problem which turned out to be nothing.
“I had a wee break off from training even though nothing needed done.
“So it wasn’t ideal. It’s football and I felt like I had to go out and get games because I had more to offer.
“When I got the chance to come here, I jumped at it. So for the last three months, I’ve been fit and raring to go.
“I was a bit unlucky with injuries and Colchester were doing well which can make it hard to get back in. But that’s what can happen and I’m happy to move on.
“It was nice coming here and finding Dundee United at the right end of the table.
“I just want us to pick up points and get promotion – that’s the main thing.”
From a personal point of view, Slater is determined to finish the season on a high and secure himself a new permanent deal.
He added: “I was a year and a half down south. I had a great time and was playing well but the second season just didn’t go according to plan.
“Again, that’s life but I won’t be looking back. I’ll only be looking forward and focusing on what’s happening here at Dundee United.
“My deal is up in the summer and, to be honest, I won’t be going back to Colchester.
“It will be about coming here and doing things right for me and doing what’s right for the club.
“Whether I’m with United long-term moving forward or go elsewhere, at the end of the day I need to look after myself.
“It’s been a couple of months since I’ve played but I’ve been doing extra on my own and am feeling good.”