Dundee United boss Robbie Neilson believes the battle his players face just to get into the team can be a key factor in the promotion race.
By making 11 signings in the January transfer window, Robbie feels he now has men vying for places all over the park.
“You bring in good players and when they are playing they are looking over at the bench and they know they are under pressure,” he said.
“Previously, maybe players were looking over at the bench and thinking no matter what happens I will be playing next week.
“Now there’s that pressure in games and in training as well and standards have to be high – and you can see that.
“People have to push hard now to get into the team.”
United head for Queen of the South on Saturday minus midfielder Calum Butcher after his red card in the Scottish Cup win at St Mirren last week.
He’ll serve a two-game ban for that – one at Queens and the other when the Tangerines face either Ross County or Inverness Caley Thistle in the quarter-finals at Tannadice at the beginning of next month.
Like the fans, Robbie will view that tie as a great chance for his team to book a Hampden semi-final date in April, but the league remains his top priority.
“It’s great we were still in the hat for the quarter-finals and a home tie against another Championship team gives us a chance to go further,” he added.
“But we have two very difficult away games coming up and then Inverness Caledonian Thistle at home before the cup comes around and, starting with Queen of the South on Saturday, they are the focus.”