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JASON SCOTLAND wants to celebrate signing his new deal by tasting derby delight at Dens Park tomorrow.


The Dundee United striker yesterday put pen to paper on a contract extension that ties him to Tannadice until the summer of 2007.

And while that alone was enough to put a smile on his face, he revealed he will feel so much happier if he can play a part in a Tangerines’ victory over Dundee.

“I have signed to the end of this season then another two after that and I am excited about it,” said the Trinidad and Tobago internationalist.

“But I must say it will be even better if we can get a victory on Saturday.

“I would then enjoy it a lot more because to beat Dundee means so much to the club and our supporters.

“This is a very important time for us because we have the derby then we play Hibs in the CIS Cup on Tuesday.

“So if we can get a victory at Dens then reach the semi-finals people will be saying nicer things about us.

“We have good enough players to not be at the bottom of the league.

“However, it is one thing to say that and another thing to actually show that is true.

“The derby gives us the chance to do that.”

Scotland had a huge impact on the city clash at Tannadice last April, almost single-handedly sparking a United fightback after coming off the bench.

It is a fixture he relishes, despite the Tangerines not having recorded a win over their neighbours since April 2002.

“I love these matches because they are always important and there is always a good atmosphere,” added Scotland.

“From a personal point of view, it gives me a great opportunity to show what I can do.

“If I am on from the start that would be good and I feel I am fit and ready.

“I was in the team at the start of the season then I went away with Trinidad for two weeks and lost a bit of condition and fitness.

“The manager decided not to play me until I got back into shape and maybe some of the fans were not aware that was why I was left out of the team.

“I am OK now, though, and am really keen to help United get the three points.”

United boss Ian McCall welcomed Scotland’s decision to sign, which is subject to the player renewing his work permit.

“It is good news for us because Jason is getting back to the level he reached last season,” said McCall.

Stuart Duff has done his chances of being involved in the derby at some stage a lot of good.

Duff moved from his usual defensive role into midfield for the reserve clash against the Dark Blues on Tuesday, and McCall added, “He did really well and comes into the equation for Saturday.”

The flu-type bug that has hit Tannadice appears to be easing and the manager is confident all will be well by kick-off.

Also, he reported no fresh injury worries, with only long-term absentees Scott Paterson and Tony Bullock sidelined.

Meanwhile, down at Dens there was relief that defensive duo Brent Sancho and Stephen McNally were found not guilty at the city’s sheriff court.

However, despite the welcome verdict the matter has had a negative impact on the Dark Blues.

“The situation with Brent and Stephen has been unfortunate as our preparations for the derby have been badly hampered,” admitted manager Jim Duffy.

“They are two important members of our team and to not have them available for training has been less than ideal.”

Duffy will be without injured duo Neil Barrett and Alex Cerdeira and the suspended Jonay Hernandez but is hopeful Iain Anderson will be available.

And the Dens boss is urging fans who have not yet snapped up their tickets to do so.

“I would like to think there will be a decent crowd and I am sure the kick-off being the traditional 3 pm on a Saturday will help,” he said.

“The better the atmosphere the better the profile of the game, and the derby is something both we and United maybe need to get us fired up.”