Marc McNulty has admitted that he would rather stay unemployed than have to return to Reading again this summer.
The Dundee United striker on loan is now in the final six months of his contract with the English Championship side.
He signed a four-year deal when he moved from Coventry in 2018, but has played fewer than 20 games and is now in his fifth loan spell in his time there, with two spells at United, Hibs and Sunderland.
McNulty is set to become a free agent and is playing for his future, but he’s relieved he doesn’t have to go back to Reading, where he was deemed over the requirements and scrapped.
The striker explained: “My contract finally ends in the summer, so who knows what will happen.
“But it’s a relief to be the one in charge of my future now.
“You can look at it two ways, there is the stress of not having a contract and not having a club.
“I could end up working as a cleaner here in St Andrews, don’t you know!
“But for me, with all the shit I’ve seen there over the years, I’m glad it’s over and I don’t have to go back there.
“I’d probably be happy to be unemployed than go through that shit again.
“I’ve talked about it before and at some point I’m going to come out and say exactly what happened.
“But this is not how you should run football clubs or deal with players who show you respect.
“It’s not a good place, you can see that with the results: a lot of coaches come and go and a lot of players come and go.
“It’s not ideal, cutting and changing coaches and having to train with youth teams, I’ve seen it all in football.
“But the way they run their club is for someone else to worry about.
“I’ll be thrilled when it’s over and I can try to go somewhere that I’m valued and wanted.”
The 29-year-old admitted he would not be averse to making his time at Tannadice more permanent.
“I’m happy to be in a good place now,” the former Scotland striker insisted.
“I support myself, you have to do it as a striker and if I score some goals there will be opportunities somewhere.
“It all depends on how well you do between now and the end of the season.
“I’ll have a talk with the manager and Tony at some point to see if they want me to stay, but now it’s too soon.
“I’ve been out for four months, so I just have to focus on playing again, get between the goals and see what happens.
“It’s a great club here, great people and a fantastic setup at St Andrews and Tannadice.”
McNulty has just returned from a hamstring injury and is determined to make up for lost time at United. He came off the mark in the Scottish Cup win over Kilmarnock and wants back-to-back wins when Ross County visit Tannadice tonight.
He stated: “It was good to score a goal, it’s been a long time and the best thing was to get the win.
“Once you get your first goal as a striker it’s a matter of confidence and you feel like a completely different player.
“The streak that we’ve been on hasn’t been very good and with the streak that we had at the beginning of the season, maybe it will show it a little bit more.
“Hopefully we can keep it up now, but it’s going to be tough against Ross County.
“They are in good shape and have a very experienced manager, I know him from his teams in England.
“The county is fighting to win points as well as we are, they’ve done very well, so it’s going to be tough.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.