Gardyne welcomes Skacel challenge
Dundee United’s Michael Gardyne is pleased with the extra
competition from Rudi Skacel ahead of his possible full debut
United play Skacel’s former side in the Scottish Communities
League Cup quarter-final at Tannadice on Wednesday seeking to build
on their first Scottish Premier League win since August, when
Skacel made his debut at St Mirren on Saturday. Speaking at a Tesco
Bank Football Challenge event in Dundee on Tuesday, Gardyne said:
“The boys are feeling good. It was good to get the three points on
Saturday, we needed that, and it gives you confidence going into
such a big game tomorrow night.
“Our squad’s looking a lot better these days, with Rudi coming
in; Gary Mackay-Steven’s going to be back either tomorrow night or
Sunday (against Celtic). It’s good competition for places.
“I wouldn’t have it any other way; you want the competition as
it keeps you on your toes.
“The players we’ve got coming in are great quality so it can
only benefit Dundee United.”
Skacel had been training with Hearts, who he left for a second
time after winning the Scottish Cup in May.
A third spell at Tynecastle was mooted before Hearts were last
week handed a transfer embargo for delayed payment of player wages
and United boss Peter Houston unveiled the former Southampton and
Marseille forward on Friday.
“He just came in on Friday morning and he was in training that
day. He’s been brilliant since he came in,” Gardyne added.
“He’s got a wealth of experience, so it can only be good for the
young boys in the team and for Rudi himself – he’s just looking to
“He’s played at Hearts for a number of years and played
international football so it’s someone great to have in the
Hearts defied their off-field troubles by claiming a last-gasp
draw with Gardyne’s former club Ross County last weekend and won
3-0 against United in September.
United’s form has belatedly turned at the right time and Gardyne
is optimistic of success, with the potential for the semi-final to
take place at the national stadium.
“It’s a one-off game, an incentive to get to Hampden in the next
round,” he said.
“We want to win, we want to get through and it’s one step closer
to winning a cup.
“The two teams have got really good players. It’s all about who
wants it more.
“The manager said that to us today. The boys are raring to go
and we’re buzzing for it.
“It doesn’t matter how we win, even if it goes to penalties, as
long as we go through.”