Houston praises Daly

Boss believes striker is example to rest of squad

Daly: Set to make an early return from a knee injury this weekend

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Dundee United boss Peter Houston has hailed the character and influence of Jon Daly as the striker prepares to return from injury early.

The 28-year-old suffered a medial ligament strain at the end of August and was expected to be out for at least a month.

""Jon is a big character in the dressing-room and a great example to the young players we have here. I know they all look up to him and he leads by example.""

Peter Houston

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However, with United short on strikers for the game with Inverness at the weekend, Daly has declared himself fit and ready to return ahead of schedule.

Desperate

Houston was full of praise for the forward, who he sees as a shining example to both players and supporters.

"The fact Jon is not 100 per cent but he's desperate to play tells you everything about him," said Houston.

"He's the club captain and he's always leading from the front.

"Jon is a big character in the dressing-room and a great example to the young players we have here. I know they all look up to him and he leads by example.

"He's a physical striker, he doesn't hold back. He puts his head in where it hurts and if it does hurt he doesn't moan about it - he just gets back up to go again.

"I just love the attitude he's got.

"Having him back this weekend, because Johnny Russell is suspended, is a major bonus for the team.

"And with such a young side we need all the experienced players we can get."

Fines

Such is the respect Daly has from his team-mates Houston also revealed the striker 'manages' the dressing room, taking care of club fines and ensuring the players take part in the club's community projects.

"I've given him the responsibility of running the dressing-room," added Houston.

"Jon and [vice captain] Sean Dillon take care of the fines. It doesn't happen a lot but when someone is late then it's up to those two to sort it out.

"That's because Jon can handle the responsibility and the rest of the lads all respect him.

"He's also the one who makes sure players do their bit in the community.

"He's a credit to himself and Dundee United."