Šafranko is one of the top strikers in the country – Robbie Neilson

Dundee United’s Robbie Neilson has described Pavol Šafranko as one of the top strikers in Scotland after seeing the on-loan Slovakian hit-man in action since becoming head coach.

Šafranko scored in last weekend’s win over Partick Thistle and Neilson has come out in praise of the striking options available to him.

“He is one of the top strikers in this division and in the country at the moment to be honest when I see him,” said Neilson.

“He has got all the attributes, not just at this level but at the higher level as well so I’m pleased to have him.

“But we’ve also got a couple of other guys that can come in as well (Nicky) Clark and (Craig) Curran and young (Matty) Smith so we’ve got good options up there.”

Neilson was also quick to pay tribute to the near 1,000 Arabs who travelled to back the team in his first game as Dundee United head coach.

“To come down to Partick and almost have 1,000 fans travel down from Dundee was sensational from our perspective.

“It was a great backing and hopefully they turn up on Saturday because you see the energy they gave the players on Saturday and they need that at this stage of the season.”

Alongside the positivity, Neilson is never short of a little humour. When asked about the players praising training in the head coach’s first week Neilson, with a smile, said: “They always say that don’t they when they have a new manager?

“Have you ever heard them say they don’t?

“No, the players have been great, I couldn’t ask anymore from them to be honest with you.

“They’ve come in, they’ve been energetic, they worked hard, they’ve listened to what we are doing and obviously getting a result last Saturday helps but we need to continue through.”

Ever focused on Saturdays, Neilson was keen to ensure the focus is in the right place.

“I’ve seen it a million times where you have a great week’s training then you turn up Saturday and it doesn’t happen,” he said.

“Thankfully, it worked last week, we need to make sure we carry it right through for this week as well.”

Saturday will see Neilson in the Tannadice dugout for the first time as United take on Inverness Caledonian Thistle at 3pm.

 

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