Craig Cairns tracks the impact of Billy McKay at Dundee United this season.
Billy McKay made a name for himself as the focal point of the Inverness Caledonian Thistle attack, be it as a lone striker or as a pair, including on the road to their Scottish League Cup final appearance in 2014. In total, he scored 62 times for the Caley Jags but left for Wigan before their Scottish Cup triumph.
He arrived at Dundee United on loan at a difficult time for the club and scored his 10th goal for them in their impressive 3-0 victory over Ross County last weekend. Even though he hasn’t scored many in recent weeks – which includes a spell out injured – he was the only player to score for the Terrors between 12 September and 5 December. Had it not been for those goals, United may be even worse off than they are now.
Five of his goals this season have come from the penalty spot and the others have all come in the box, displaying the striker’s ability as an effective poacher. However, this should not detract from the work he does outside the area. His work rate is undeniable, again be it as a lone striker when he first arrived or, more recently, as a strike pairing.
United are starting to get goals from other areas of the pitch now. Paul Paton, Scott Fraser, Ryan Dow, Guy Demel, John Rankin, Simon Murray, Mark Durnan and Sean Dillon have all contributed to the goals in the last two months. Even still, McKay will be vital to any survival bid for the remainder of the season.