Neither he nor the team have set the heather alight in terms of scoring this season but Dundee United hitman Lawrence Shankland insists they are hungry for goals.
Shankland, who notched 29 times for club and country last term as United won the Championship title, has only managed two goals in 12 appearances for the Terrors this time out.
Strike partner Nicky Clark, with seven in the league, has notched the majority of the Tangerines’ 13 goals this term – the third lowest in the top flight – while Reading loanee Marc McNulty is yet to get off the mark for the club.
However, speaking to DUTV, Shankland says they are all itching to start firing again and help United improve on their sixth-placed standing in the Premiership.
“It’s still a work in progress,” the 25-year-old Scotland star said.
“Myself, Clarky and McNulty are three people who’ve scored goals in the past so, obviously we’re hungry.
“We’d all love to be sitting on 10 each at this stage of the season but it is going to take time, it’s not a speedy process which happens overnight that you become a Premiership team.
“You do need to work on things but now there’s been a wee bit of disruption with the squad (a coronavirus outbreak) but when we get everybody back together we can get back to doing what we’re doing.
“The people that have came in, the jobs are the same, and we try to work on that but I think it’s easier when you’ve got everybody in together and the manager in to keep working on those things. That’s what we aim to do in training.”
United still trying to find identity in Premiership
Former Ayr United and Aberdeen striker Shankland believes they’re still adapting to football in the top tier under new boss Micky Mellon.
He also reckons they are very close to cracking it and kicking on in the new year.
Shankland added: “I think it’s just different in terms of, last season, in most games we turn up and we’re the team in charge, have most of the ball and it was probably a bit more suited to the players we have.
“In this league, you’re going to teams and you just have to kind of accept they’re going to have the ball if you’re away from home and they’ll come here and let us have it.
“It’s just adapting. First and foremost, the club needs to establish itself as a Premiership side again, it was out of the league for four years and that’s a long time to be missing.
“To get back here is great and we just need to make sure we stay here for the long term.
“The likes of Livingston have found themselves in the league for a long time now, they’ve got their game plan and know what they’re doing in terms of what suits them all.
“I think we’re still trying to find what works best for us. At the start of the season we were kind of shipping goals, I don’t think any of the boys would argue that point, but we’ve managed to stop that.
“I think when you do that, you take the attacking side out of the game a wee bit and kind of sacrifice the top end of the pitch.
“It’s just trying to find the balance of doing that and, on the flip side, you can go and attack and, hopefully, get some goals.
“I think we’re probably still sticking a wee bit there but it’s something we’re working on and we all know what we need to do to improve it. Fingers crossed it’s soon.”
— Dundee United FC (@dundeeunitedfc) December 15, 2020
Meanwhile, United have opened talks with Clark over a contract extension following a fine scoring start to the campaign.
The 29-year-old’s current deal at Tannadice runs out in the summer and is expected to have an offer on the table very soon.
The Tangerines have also been linked with a pre-contract move in the January window for Ross County striker Ross Stewart.
Staggies forward Stewart was a target for United in the summer and they will face competition from the likes of Aberdeen to nab his signature.