Sidebar

17
Wed, Jul
28 New Articles

Typography
COLLIN SAMUEL aims to boost his World Cup dream by gunning down Hearts tomorrow.


The Dundee United striker will be on a joint mission when he lines up against the crisis-hit Jambos at Tynecastle.

It's Samuel's last game for United before Trinidad and Tobago's crunch double-header play-off with Bahrain.

The player has been itching to grace football's biggest event since, as a starry-eyed kid, he watched his country come so close to qualifying for Italia 90.

And Samuel, who is on stand-by for the Bahrain clash, would love fulfil his dream by being part of next year's finals in Germany.

He said: "I was at primary school the last time we were so close to qualifying.

"We just needed to win against the USA to make it to Italia 90 but ended up losing.

"It was really disappointing not to make it as the entire country were right behind the team and football was just starting to take off back home.

"I remember watching the finals and seeing great strikers such as Cameroon's Roger Milla, Italy's Roberto Baggio and Jurgen Klinsmann, of Germany.

"It's everyone's dream to play on that stage. I'm on stand-by because there are so many players on yellow cards.

"But I think I'm more likely to play in the second leg on November 16.

"If I can get a chance, I would really look forward to helping my country get there. All I can do is keep doing well for my club."

Samuel, 22, first burst on to the Scottish scene by hitting a hat-trick for Falkirk to knock Hearts out of the Scottish Cup at Brockville in 2003. He's relishing the prospect of tackling the managerless Jambos as Gordon Chisholm's side look to bounce back themselves from two straight defeats.

And judging by the way he lashed home United's second goal in their 4-2 defeat by Celtic last Sunday, Samuel is in the mood to add to Hearts' woes.

He said: "I will never forget that Scottish Cup win against Hearts. Before the game everyone had been talking about it for a week.

"I'm really looking forward to going through there but it will be a tough game for us.

"A lot has happened at Tynecastle but they still have a lot of very good players."

With David Fernandez fit again and Lee Miller desperate for a return to first-team action, Samuel knows he has a fight on his hands to hold on to his place.

But he has warned his team-mates he's not about to let all his good work go to waste.

Samuel said: "I've been working hard doing things such as the spin class.

"Now I've got myself into the team there is really strong competition to stay there.

"I'm pushing myself at every opportunity to be positive and it's working."

United assistant boss Billy Dodds reckons Samuel should be an automatic pick for the national side. He said: "They must have some squad if they can do without Sammy.

"Anyone would be mad to leave him out the way he's playing just now.

"His pace is electric and he's getting back to the way he was at Falkirk when he first came to Scotland."

Fernandez and David McCracken both came through training unscathed yesterday to boost their chances of facing Hearts.