Christian Nade says he can feel Josh Magennis’ pain after the Kilmarnock player was subjected to racial abuse from the stands at Tynecastle.
The French striker has experienced it himself during his career and admitted it has nearly brought him to boiling point: “Of course I have been abused before in football. But I try to just forget it because if I keep thinking about it then I get frustrated and angry then I’ll maybe do something that I shouldn’t”.
“It’s always an individual in the stadium. You can’t say stuff like that. What’s sad sometimes is that the player has to report it, but I wish that one day, the person next to the guy will report it, then it will be better”.
However, there can be banter of a more positive nature. Nade celebrated his Dumbarton goal with a “5-1” gesture, a reference to Hearts’ Scottish Cup triumph, towards the Hibs fans after they had dished out some good natured jibes towards the former Tynecastle hitman. The striker admitted he loves playing against Hibernian and used his goalscoring celebration as the perfect way to hit back at his critics:
“Before the game, I know what kind of attention I’m going to get and I love it. I just can’t wait to play against them. I’m always excited on my way to the stadium against them”.
Nade is now playing at his eleventh professional club and the fifth Scottish side in his career: “I love Scotland,” said the striker, “I just want to stay here”.
The Frenchman is still settling in to his new surroundings following the January transfer switch. However Nade has been enjoying his time at the Sons after leaving Hamilton: “So far, it’s really good. There’s a good atmosphere in the dressing room, the coach trusts me and is always contacting me and the fans have been great”.
Indeed, Dumbarton manager Stevie Aitken had wanted to sign the striker back in the summer, losing out to the New Douglas Park club. The persistency of Aitken was to pay off though and struck a chord with Nade: “I knew that the gaffer had wanted me from since the start of the season, but Hamilton came in so I signed for them. The fact that he still wanted me at the transfer window, I thought, that’s the guy I need”.
Ten years ago, Nade was turning out for Sheffield United under Neil Warnock in their single 2006-2007 season in the Premier League, and though it was to end in a last-day relegation, the 31 year old looks back on his spell there fondly: “It was a long time ago. It was just awesome. I loved every single moment of playing there. I had a three year deal and shouldn’t have left, but we can’t live in regret. I had a great time there and if I had the opportunity to go back there one day, I’d be happy”.
Leaving the Blades gave Nade his first taste of Scottish football after agreeing to sign for Hearts in 2007, however admitted that at the slight age of 23, he wasn’t fully ready for what was expected of him:
“I was still a young boy at Hearts. I didn’t take my career seriously. I had probably the biggest head ever and I didn’t play to my full potential. Like I say, you have some regrets, but you can’t live in it; I had some amazing moments there and the fans were amazing”.
Nade’s goal against Hibernian at the weekend had many pundits saying it could be the nail in the coffin for the Easter road outfit’s title chances this season, with Rangers opening up a ten point gap and Falkirk hot on their tails, just two points behind the Leith side: “Well mathematically there’s still a chance for Hibs to win the title. Just now I think they have to look behind them because Falkirk are coming really strong”.
Despite the efforts of Hibs and Falkirk, Nade is insistent that the Championship trophy will be heading to Ibrox come the end of the season: “They will definitely will the league. They have young players like McKay, who has had a really great season, as well as experienced players like Miller, who I’m sure can keep the group together when there are difficult times”.
“I look forward to playing against them at Ibrox. The last time before I scored and hopefully when we go there I can get my chance again to score”.