Talented Ghanaian attacker Mathew Anim Cudjoe has made a solemn promise to deliver an impressive performance for the Dundee United supporters.
This comes after a challenging season, which he describes as “complicated.”
At just 19, Cudjoe has made a compelling case for a regular starting position this season. His notable performances, particularly against Falkirk where he was distinguished as the man of the match in a 1-0 triumph, and Carlisle, are testament to his rising prominence.
His synergy with Tony Watt and Louis Moult during the match at Brunton Park on Saturday was commendable. The Tangerines emerged victorious with a 2-0 score. Despite his commendable performance, similar to his game against the Bairns, fortune did not favour him in finding the back of the net.
Despite the circumstances, the robust contingent of 738 travelling fans did not hesitate to shower him with praise after witnessing his daring advances on the field.
Cudjoe, however, assures that this is merely the tip of the iceberg, with much more to be revealed as United gears up for their Championship opener at Arbroath.
“I love everyone who comes to support the club and it is special when they sing for me,” he told Courier Sport. “All we ever want to do is make them happy. Last season was not good and we want to give everything back to them.
“It (this season) has been a very good time for me and I think I am starting to show my quality to everyone. I am happy to start every game and, when the coach selects me, I want to prove myself.
“When I have the ball; when I don’t have the ball — I will do all I can for the team.
“I feel like I am doing everything else at the moment, but I want to score goals. The goals need to come soon. That time will come, and to score goals for Dundee United and their fans will make me happy.
“This season, they will see a lot of Mathew Cudjoe — they should keep an eye on me!”
Despite his youth, Cudjoe demonstrates an eagerness to seize the present moment, seemingly determined to compensate for past setbacks.
The Tangerines’ unfortunate relegation last season saw him sparingly used, a casualty of the turmoil created by a rotation of three different managers within a single season.
Although his arrival in November 2021 has seen him start merely six competitive matches, it is indisputable that Cudjoe has been given a valuable opportunity courtesy of Jim Goodwin.
“Last season was complicated for me,” he continued. “We changed manager a lot and I needed to play more games.
“I was desperate to play more games and wanted to make a difference for the team.
“This is different. We have the right manager — a good manager, who understands me — and he has given everybody a real opportunity. I want to take it. I believe I will score a lot of goals.”
Embracing the Unexpected
With the impending journey to Gayfield on Friday night, Cudjoe is keen to retain his position, fully aware of the formidable physical challenge that Arbroath invariably presents.
Despite his stature, the compact forward maintains a firm belief in his capacity to cope with the Championship’s demanding physicality. This confidence stems from his ongoing endeavour to harmonise his technical skill set with a robust strength regime.
“When I was back home during the holidays I did a lot of extra work and training,” he continued. “This is my mentality; this is my career.
“I have to work hard and improve in every way to become a top player. I have done a lot of hard work and, since coming back, have spent a lot of time in the gym. That has helped me a lot, too; I am ready for this league.
“I look forward to every challenge, every day. Football is always physical but it can also be mental and about how you use your brain.
“I know Arbroath will be physical, but on the pitch other things help to decide the game as well. I am ready for everything.”