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St Mirren Park, Scotland

Referee: Euan Norris | Attendance: 4333

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Dundee United

  • Johnny Russell 69' PEN

Rudi ready to make United impact

Rudi Skacel has declared himself ready to fire Dundee United up the table after Peter Houston benefited from the transfer embargo on Hearts to sign the goalscoring midfielder.

The Czech international has signed until the end of January after training with Hearts in recent weeks but being unable to sign for a third time at Tynecastle.

Hearts were placed under an automatic transfer embargo in September when they failed to pay wages on time, and the Scottish Premier League this week extended the sanction until December 23 following a second monthly delay.

Skacel finished his second spell at Hearts in the same way as his first, by scoring in a Scottish Cup final victory.

And, by the look of his training top in his first photograph as a United player, he appears to have honoured his promise to Hearts fans to pay homage to the 5-1 Hampden thrashing of Hibernian by adopting the number 51 shirt at his new club.

The fact that Skacel has only signed until January 30 leaves the door open for another potential return to Tynecastle next year, but the 33-year-old's initial aim is to help United move up from 11th place in the SPL, possibly starting at St Mirren on Saturday.

Skacel, who scored 18 goals for Hearts last season, told United's official website: ``Within 10 minutes of meeting the manager, I had decided I wanted to come here; it was an easy decision.

``I have kept fit training with a few of my previous clubs over the last few months so it is just match fitness I have to get up to speed with.

``For both the club and myself it is a good deal. I can play a few games and hopefully help the team climb the table.

``In January, we can then look at things and see if it suits us both to extend the contract.''

Skacel, whose arrival comes as influential winger Gary Mackay-Steven prepares to return to training next week following knee surgery, is the second payer to sign a contract at Tannadice this week.

Sean Dillon signed a two-year extension as he prepares to mark the sixth anniversary of his arrival from Shelbourne in January.

United stopped a run of four SPL games without scoring when they drew 1-1 with Aberdeen last Saturday.

St Mirren are boosted by the return of Thomas Reilly for the clash against Dundee United.

Reilly missed last week's 5-0 thrashing against Celtic with an ankle injury but is back for the visit of United.

Paul McGowan, Darren McGregor and Grant Adam all remain on the sidelines for the Paisley club.

Winger Gary Teale admits to feeling frustrated by his lack of first-team action with St Mirren recently, but has vowed to remain at the Paisley club and fight for his place.

Teale has not started since last month's defeat to Kilmarnock and did not feature at all in the last two outings - defeats to St Johnstone and Celtic.

The 34-year-old says his omission is even harder to take when the side are not producing the results and he has not been given an opportunity to have an impact on those matches.

Teale said: ``I thought at the start of the season, when I was in the side, that we were doing well enough.

``When you're sitting on the sidelines and the performances haven't been what they had been before, and you're not being utilised and you feel like you can make an impact, it is disappointing.

``But there's nothing you can do, you just have to get on with it and hope the manager changes it around again and you're back in.

``I've never been one to bang on the door and say `why am I not playing?' I'm the type of character who just gets on with things.

``It is frustrating. You work all week and all you want to do is play football on a Saturday.

``I'll just get on with it and, when things turn around, I'll take my chance.''

Teale is confident he can force his way back into manager Danny Lennon's plans.

And he insists he has not even considered the prospect of a January loan move in search of regular action elsewhere.

He added: ``I think I'll get back in sooner or later anyway.

``If I was younger and feeling like I had to prove something, I'd maybe be thinking along those lines but it's not even entered my head.

``I enjoy it here, I enjoy training here, so it's not something I've really thought about.''

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