Celtic signing Mackay-Steven admits his head may not have been right at Dundee United for final

Dundee United Tannadice

Gary Mackay-Steven says it would have been strange playing against Celtic in the Scottish League Cup final.

New Celtic signing Gary Mackay-Steven has admitted his head was turned by the club after he signed his pre-contract deal.

In early January, Mackay-Steven signed a deal to switch to Celtic in the summer, before Dundee United accepted a fee on deadline day to sell him permanently, despite their desire to keep him as long as possible.

With the two teams due to play in the Scottish League Cup final on March 15, the striker admits he is slightly relieved at the fact he is now cup-tied and unable to play in the match. 

He told the Glasgow Evening Times: "It will be (a) strange situation watching it. On Saturday it was a great high for us, getting to another cup final after beating Aberdeen.

"It would have been strange playing for Dundee United against my future employers Celtic. And to be here now, and know that I won't be involved at all, is quite strange.

"But football is like that. Maybe it is a good thing that I don't have to face that. When a club like Celtic shows an interest, your head is immediately turned."

The match has added needle after Celtic also pushed through a deal to sign Mackay-Steven's teammate Scott Armstrong, on deadline day too.

Dundee United defended the sale of the pair, quoted in a statement reported by the BBC that they could not prevent the players from moving on, and were happy with the quality of their squad.

There would have been a lot of pressure on the striker ahead of the clash, a match in which Dundee United would have needed everybody to be at the top of their game mentally as well as physically.

His departure could work in their favour now he is out of the picture if he was distracted, and now of course the club have extra motivation to beat Celtic to the trophy.

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