Queen of the South manager Gary Naysmith has told the Doonhamers supporters not to expect James McFadden to reproduce his Scotland heroics until the forward is back to full match fitness.
Tuesday marks the ten-year anniversary of the 48-times capped former Motherwell and Everton attacking midfielder scoring an iconic winning goal for his country against France in a Euro qualifier.
From playing in Paris on that memorable night, McFadden will now ply his trade at Palmerston after signing a deal until January with the Championship side at the tail end of last week.
The 34-year-old, who was player-assistant manager at Fir Park last term, made his debut as a substitute in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Livingston but Naysmith has urged the fans to rein-in their expectations of the player.
Naysmith said: “It’s not that I’m trying to play it down because James is more than capable of handling pressure, but I don’t want everyone to expect that he’s just going to pick up from where he was when he played for Scotland.
“Regardless of how many caps you’ve got or at what level you’ve played at, that doesn’t come back till you play these games and get the match time.
“James can handle expectations but he’s not going to be at that level until we get him that game time.
“He hasn’t played a run of games for a year.
“He’s going to be rusty, you saw on Saturday there were flashes of brilliance and there were things he was doing in the wrong positions because his match speed wasn’t up.
“We need to get a couple of friendly games for him to get his match fitness; he’s maybe three, four weeks away from starting a game.
“Although he has trained with us non-stop for two months, he has not played any matches since he had a few minutes in pre-season.”
Naysmith believes that just having McFadden’s name on the team-sheet will strike fear into rival Championship sides.
He added: “What else he does, if you’re playing for the opposition, you think: ‘Oh no, here’s James McFadden coming on’. You’ve got a psychological edge on them straight away.
“I think he is going to be a good influence on and off the pitch.”