Ex-Celtic striker Scott McDonald more excited by title race with Dundee United in Championship than prospect of being Premiership also-ran

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SCOTT McDONALD has dropped into the Championship to sign for Dundee United and insists the opportunity to win the Championship ‘got his juices flowing’ more than the prospect of another season battling for Premiership survival.

The former Celtic striker appeared set to return home to his native Australia this summer after leaving Motherwell but once it became clear he would be remaining in the United Kingdom he carefully considered his next step.

It is understood the likes of St Johnstone and Partick Thistle were keen to keep him in the Premiership, whilst a lucrative offer came in from south of the border, but he has opted instead for the challenge of helping United restore themselves to the top-flight.

McDonald during his successful spell with Celtic (Pic: Tsutomu Takasu)

This time last year, the Australia internationalist turned down the chance to be reunited with his old Celtic manager, Neil Lennon, at Hibernian and though he does not admit to regretting that decision it is clear it had a bearing on his latest move.

As Hibs won silverware, he fought a grim relegation battle at Motherwell.

“When I knew I was probably going to be staying within the UK, it had to be something that was going to get the juices flowing for me, personally,” he explained after penning an initial one-year contract.

“I had been at Motherwell for a couple of years and it had been a great time, and obviously I have a great affiliation with the football club.

“But I needed something that was going to get me challenged, and this certainly is a challenge, in terms of trying to win something.

“At my age in my career, that’s what’s going to bring out the best in me, and that’s why I’m here.

NEW CHAPTER

“What’s the point in just another season in the top-flight? It was more important to me to try to achieve something.

“I’m a winner and possibly I had the opportunity to do it last year, and – looking back, righty or wrongly – turned it down at Hibs.

“A year on, I’ve got another opportunity to do it and it certainly feels right this time to come and do it.

“It’s a new chapter in my career and I think I needed that. I had been at Motherwell on two separate occasions and sometimes a change in scenery is something you need, and a fresh challenge.”

With a debut in Sunday’s derby against Dundee in the Betfred Cup at Dens Park now on the horizon, the 33-year-old added: “If people want to question why I’ve come down a division then fine, but I know why I’ve done that.

“I know where this club should be and I’m really looking forward to the challenge.

“Winning something is far more appealing. Last season was a tough year at Motherwell as well. We scrapped against relegation for a long period of that.

“To come here and be part of that, and hopefully be successful, would be amazing.”

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