Lawrence Shankland: Dundee United striker wants to 'earn promotion'

Dundee United striker Lawrence Shankland
Dundee United striker Lawrence Shankland would rather finish the season than be handed promotion with eight games remaining

Just last month, Lawrence Shankland would have been hoping to be busy this weekend in the preparations for a Euro 2020 play-off final.

Instead, the Dundee United striker has been left jogging through the empty streets to keep fit and watching the Toy Story films at home, with sport the world over on hold.

The stay at home message is being adhered to in a bid to thwart the coronavirus, but it can be a bit of a struggle for professional athletes.

However, Shankland, 24, qualified as a personal trainer during a prolific stint at Ayr United and that is helping with discipline and diet.

"It's not a good situation, but we just need to deal with it as best we can," Shankland told BBC Scotland.

"All the boys have been trying to keep as fit as we can and that's been the biggest problem, which is something to be grateful for given everything that's going on.

"I've got a spin bike at home and a few free weights. I've been doing a bit of running as well.

"As players we know our bodies and I know I need to keep myself ticking over, training as much as I can. It's been easy for me to keep it up but others might find it a bit more difficult.

"I might have struggled with what I ate before but now I know about my calorie intake and I've been cutting down because I'm not training as hard on my own.

"I've been doing most of my work-outs in the middle of the day to break it up a bit. Either side of that, I've been playing a bit of Fifa and watching box sets, I had a Toy Story marathon the other day."

'I would rather we earned our place'

Football in Scotland is suspended until at least 30 April, with speculation rife that the enforced break could be much longer.

United are 14 points clear at the top of the Championship but Shankland is not much interested in suggestions of gaining promotion through their current position or via the possibility of league reconstruction.

"We were in great position but there are bigger problems in the world right now," he said.

"Me personally, I want to get this league won, I wouldn't like to be handed it. I would rather we earned our place. If they expand the league after that, fair enough."

With 28 goals in 33 games for United and two Scotland caps, there is sure to be interest in Shankland. Owner Mark Ogren has already spoken of a fee in excess of £3m but the striker is playing it down.

"It's not something I've been thinking about," he said. "We were kind of stuttering our way towards the title with a wee bit of drop in form and not picking up great results. That was my main focus - to get back to winning ways.

"Obviously this interruption has caused a wee bit of a delay to that. But hopefully when we eventually get back we can start well and get it won."

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