Dundee United forward Louis Appere has backed Lawrence Shankland to hit more than 50 goals this season.

Shankland, with Steve Clarke’s Scotland squad this week, hit his 20th of the season in Friday night’s Tayside derby as United extended their lead at the top of the Championship.

And Appere fully expects the 24-year-old to keep up his form in front of goal after hitting the ground running at Tannadice this summer.

“Can he get fifty?,” said Appere.

“I don’t see why not because of the rate he’s scoring at.  f he stays in the form he’s in then who knows what he’s capable of. He is a really good goalscorer but it’s unfair to just think of him like that, he’s got really good hold up play as well. 

Dundee United pay special tribute to new Scotland cap Lawrence Shankland by adding name to illustrious honours board

“He brings people into the game and is intelligent, but when you score as many as he does it’s no wonder people just focus on the goals!”

And Appere has backed the striker to find the net for Scotland, despite the differentiation in levels between the Championship and international football.

Clarke side face Cyprus and Kazakhstan this week and with no prolific striker in the squad to automatically claim a starting jersey, it could be an opportunity for Shankland.

“Lawrence showed what he can do for Scotland the last time he was called up and I think he will do the same this week,” said the 20-year-old. “He’s deserved his call up, to score twenty goals by this stage of the season is crazy. 

“If he plays for Scotland this week he will do well, he’ll score goals against anyone.  If you get the ball into the box and create chances for him he’ll put them away no matter what level it’s at. 

“Nothing fazes him, he adapts very well to wherever he’s playing.”