IT is easy to forget that Glenn Middleton is just 22 years old, given what he has achieved in his short career so far. 

The winger has scored for Rangers on the European stage, won the Scottish Cup with St Johnstone and now found the back of the net on a historic Europa Conference League night for Dundee United. 

Middleton showed his quality on Thursday night to give Jack Ross’ team a slim advantage to take into the second leg of their third-round qualifying tie against AZ Alkmaar in Holland next week. 

The former Ibrox youngster jinked his way between two defenders on the right flank before playing a neat give and go with Jamie McGrath on the edge of the penalty. The curling finish that followed had Tannadice rocking, and Middleton was thrilled to open his account for his new side. 

“I am absolutely delighted with it,” he beamed. “Everybody would have had their scenarios going into the game and how they wanted it to go. It was pretty much how I wanted it to go.   

“It was an unbelievable feeling, in front of my family.   “I looked up to my family in the Eddie Thompson Stand, everyone was there, my mum, dad, sister and girlfriend.   

“I then walked back to the halfway line and it was an unbelievable feeling.  It is a moment that will never leave me.” 

Middleton signed a three-year deal at Tannadice and joined an impressive list of summer signings who had already pledged their futures to Ross’ new look set-up in the City of Discovery. 

“The goal sums up the quality of the squad,” Middleton continued. “This isn’t just a scrambled team, this is a top, top team and I see that in training. I have only been here a week but everyone is pulling in the right direction and hopefully it keeps coming nicely. 

“I have watched the goal a few times already.  I didn’t get much sleep on Thursday night.  We have to enjoy it.  It doesn’t happen that often and when it does happen you need to enjoy it.   

“I’ve had some lovely texts and hopefully I can have a few more nights like this. 

“It was a brilliant team goal and you saw everyone’s emotions come out when the ball went in. There was all the talk of Dundee United being back on the European stage and we didn’t want to let the occasion bypass us.  We didn’t. 

“It is the best in terms of the emotions I felt in the game.  It was just a brilliant night but it doesn’t mean anything unless we go out and carry out things again next week.   

“That is what we will be trying to do. I scored for Rangers against Spartak Moscow away.  That was an unbelievable feeling but this maybe surpasses that.  I can’t complain about either of the goals and I am hoping there are more to come because it would be good to get another next week.” 

Before the return leg in Holland, United have the small task of taking on Livingston in the Scottish Premiership as they look to build on last week’s draw against Kilmarnock. 

Boss Ross is fully focussed on domestic matters before turning his attention to AZ away. 

He added: “We want that level of performance again. I learned last year that is not easy. Playing Thursday then Sunday is tough, not only physically, but mentally, especially with the emotion involved.  

“We are back in and we will see where players are physically and we will plan for Sunday. We will bring freshness to it. Hopefully, we have enough players in the squad now to do that. 

“They have shown that they are able to go toe-to-toe with a good European team. I now don’t need to work on that [winning mindset] before the second leg.  

“We will be aware of the threat they pose and how good they are, but equally, we dealt with that. We are going to have to deal with it again and carry a threat again.  

“We have an important league game in between before our attention turns to that. The result means we will go over there with a sense of self-belief within the group.”