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Zak Rudden happy to get going for Dundee as James McPake’s persistence pays off

Rangers v Bury – Pre-Season Friendly – Ibrox Stadium
(Image credit: Ian Rutherford)

Zak Rudden is glad to have at last teamed up with James McPake at Dundee.

The Dark Blues boss has been a long-time admirer of the 21-year-old striker and admitted he had tried to recruit him after he moved into the hotseat at the club in 2019.

McPake eventually got his man on a loan deal from Partick Thistle on transfer deadline day, after Rudden had signed a pre-contract agreement to move on a permanent deal next summer.

A product of the Rangers youth academy, he came on as a second-half substitute in the Tayside derby against Dundee United on Tuesday night and twice came close to breaking the deadlock before the match ended goalless.

Rudden, who has previously had loan spells at Falkirk and Plymouth, spoke enthusiastically about the move, saying: “I had signed a pre-contract and I wanted to get here as soon as possible and I am just delighted I am here now.

“I wanted to take my next step and I didn’t want to wait about.

“I know the gaffer. I played against him when I was a young boy (at Rangers) and he has been trying to get me for years.

“So when I spoke to him it was a kind of no-brainer – after the three or four other times I denied it.

“I have to thank him for it. It means he really wants me and he has wanted me for a while now and it gives me a boost.

“He has trust in me so it makes me feel much better about myself.”

The stalemate at the Kilmac Stadium meant Dundee dropped to the bottom of the league behind St Johnstone on goal difference but Rudden does not consider the move to be a risk.

He said: “No, not at all. You seen it last night, we gave them a right good go so we will take it as it comes and hopefully we will start scoring goals.

“I was obviously gutted not to score – there was two off the line.

“But it was good to get out there and it was some game to go into with some atmosphere.

“That’s the kind of games you want to play in. I made the right choice, 100 per cent.”

Rudden, who has scored nine times for Thistle in the Scottish Championship this season, expressed his gratitude to Jags boss Ian McCall.

He said: “He kick-started my career. I came back from injury and I wasn’t scoring for Thistle for a while but he trusted me and I need to thank him for that and that’s why I am here now.”

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