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Interviews

INTERVIEW: It was a no brainer

Stefan Scougall on joining United

5 February 2019

We caught up with new arrival Stefan Scougall to get his thoughts on joining United at what is a very exciting time of the season.

“I’m delighted to be here and I’m really excited to get going,” he said. “I’ve had a couple of moves in my career, but I don’t think I’ve had any on deadline day before, so it was quite exciting and it was a busy day.

“I was always fairly sure it would all happen, but once it gets down to the last day you do start panicking a little bit. Once I got the call from my agent to tell me everything was good to go I couldn’t get down here quick enough."

“I spoke to the gaffer just after he got the job here and he asked me if I would be interested in coming down," he explained. "At St Johnstone I was out of the picture, so it was just about trying to get out of my contract there. Once I spoke to the gaffer it was a no brainer, and this was somewhere I wanted to come and get back playing football again.

“The gaffer was a massive factor in me coming here. I had other options to stay in Scotland, but having played under the gaffer before ... and I feel I played some of my best football under him at Fleetwood ... I wanted to come here.

"It was a difficult situation at Fleetwood but we got out of the relegation battle and picked up a good amount of points in the ten games I played for them. I’ve kept in touch with the gaffer ever since so, like I’ve said, it was a no brainer for me to come here and play under him again.

“The way he likes to play suits me down to a tee, so it had a massive baring on me coming here. The way the gaffer sees the game and the way he likes his midfielders to play really suits me.

"The way I feel the game should be played and the way I play my own game are a perfect fit with how he thinks. It’s great to be coming to work with a manager who makes you feel wanted, and he knows what he can get out of me.

“Once I spoke to the gaffer a few weeks ago I’ve been looking at the highlights from our games and things like that. It’s clear that we’ve got good players here who like to attack, but we can also defend. We’ve had a few clean sheets recently and I’m just looking forward to being involved."

But is he coming here with something to prove?

“I think you’ve always got things to prove and people to prove wrong," he said. "For me, it’s about coming here and getting back to what I'm good at, and hopefully I can do that. I’ve been proving people wrong since I was a young boy when I was told I was too small to play football, so I see things like that as just another challenge.

“Things didn’t go how I would have liked at St Johnstone, which was down to a number of factors. I didn’t really play in my favourite position, I was stuck out wide most of the last season. This season I played centrally and did well, but then I was out of the picture, which can sometimes happen in football."

As for where he likes to play, he told us: “I like playing the number 10 position but I also like playing in centre midfield, as long as I get on the ball.

"I need to be on the ball and get loads of touches to be effective. I know Jamie Devitt has been playing in that sort of position and been doing really well, as have all the boys, so I know I need to work hard to try and force my way into the team.

“You can’t turn around and have an easy day in training or anything like that, you need to work hard every day because there are so many good players here. There’s good competition for places so I need to work hard to earn my place in the team.

“I’m a forward-thinking player and I like to get on the ball, I’m high energy and I’ll always give my all in every game. I like to get into the box and also create chances for the team."

Looking back at some career highlights, he commented: “My time at Sheffield United was brilliant, there were a lot of ups and downs.

"We got to a couple of semi-finals in the FA Cup and League Cup, and we were in the play-offs and ended up getting promoted from League One, so it was a great time for me. I’ve got great memories of my time there and it’s nice to see them doing really well this season.

“Once you’ve had a taste of success with promotion you crave more. You want to be able to look back on your career and be able to say you’ve had this promotion here and that promotion there.

“I scored a few goals there but I wish my record could have been better. As a midfielder you’re always looking to add goals to your game, and I would probably say I haven’t scored as many as I should throughout my career, so hopefully I can improve on that here."

As for this next step, he said: “This next spell is about getting game time and hopefully helping the group of boys here, because they’ve done so well to get the club into a good position.

"Hopefully I can come in, along with the other signings we’ve made, and help push the lads on a bit more. I’ve got a deal until the end of the season so it’s just about playing and getting back to basics, and hopefully I can show good form, then we’ll go from there.

“It’s good to come into a club who are only looking up in the table. It’s all positivity around the place so hopefully I can add to that as much as possible and we can get some more good results.

"You don’t get any easy games in professional football, when I was at Sheffield United we played a lot of League Two teams in cups and things like that, so I know what to expect."

“It’s an hour on the train for me which isn’t far, and I’ll stay down here a couple of nights a week," he said. "I’ve obviously played in Sheffield and Fleetwood so this isn’t far at all. I know a couple of the lads already.

"I know Regan [Slater] from my time at Sheffield United and I know a couple of the Scottish boys just because they’re Scottish really! It’s been fairly easy to settle in so far and the rest of the boys seem like a really good bunch.

“I think good players can gel really quickly, so it’s just about getting to know each other’s games as quickly as possible. It’s all about getting promotion come the end of the season, and if we do that and reach our target then we’ll look at next season.

"You want to come to a club who are pushing for promotion and it’s one of the big reasons I came here."

Click HERE to watch an interview with Stefan Scougall on iFollow United now.

Click HERE to see a clip from this interview on our YouTube channel. Follow the same link for more FREE content right from the heart of the club.


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