Dundee United striker Jason Scotland will hear this week whether his application for a new work permit has been approved – after spending the last few months worrying whether a hairstyle would scupper his chances of staying at Tannadice.
The Trinidad & Tobago international has not played in the required percentage of games for his country after a row with former boss Bertille St Clair over his dreadlocks.
The controversial manager, who was sacked last month, insisted his players were not allowed to grow Rastafarian hairstyles and punished Scotland by omitting him from his squads.
United have appealed to the government for special dispensation to allow Scotland, who recently signed a new three-year contract, to stay with the club and are confident their request will be granted.
Scotland revealed: “I will know by next Wednesday whether my work permit has been approved, but my agent has told me he’s spoken to them and is 99.9% sure it will be.
“I have only played about 25-30% of the internationals, but that was because the manager, Bertille St Clair, had a problem with my hair. I had a Rasta and he always wanted his players to have their hair close cut.
“I was a big part of the national team, but all of a sudden I was out. It was not fair because I went to South Korea and scored a beauty of a goal but the manager was still complaining about my hair.
“At that time I was not worried about it costing me my work permit, I didn’t realise that until later, but I’m confident I’ll get one and can play for Dundee United next season.”
Scotland partnered Stevie Crawford in Saturday’s 1-0 Tennent’s Scottish Cup final defeat to Celtic because regular striker Jim McIntyre was suspended.
Celtic, who won thanks to a deflected Alan Thompson free-kick, marshalled the pair of them fairly well throughout the 90 minutes.
The 25-year-old insists United, who produced a commendable second-half performance, had a great chance of winning the cup and feels there are more good times ahead for the Tangerines.
He added: “It was a good chance to win a cup and even though we didn’t the players can be proud that we got here and gave Celtic a good game.
“The spirit in the dressing-room has changed completely over the last 10 weeks and that will carry on until next season so hopefully it will be a better one for the club.
“I don’t think it was my best performance because the Celtic players make it hard. They are big and very strong, so credit to them for the way they stopped me playing.
“I’ve not played with Stevie Crawford too often but I think if we get more games together the partnership can develop.”
United have next season’s UEFA Cup to look forward to and Scotland believes that makes their summer holidays even more enjoyable.
He said: “We’ve not been thinking about the UEFA Cup because we had so many other things going on, but now we can look forward to the draw and that will make our summer exciting.”