Adrian Sporle insists Dundee United’s pay cuts talks won’t affect team morale.
The Tangerines are being asked by the club to agree to up to 20% reductions in salary in order to help United negotiate the coronavirus crisis.
Sporle claimed all the players want to do their bit to help and is sure that the mood in the camp has stayed positive.
Indeed, he himself was upbeat as he looked ahead to tomorrow’s home Premiership game against Ross County.
The Argentinian said: “The situation is complicated at this moment in time.
“It’s not only here.
“We need to get together – all the players and staff – to help the club.
“All the players are staff want to help the club. We are fine.
“Training is very good and we are focused on the game.
“It won’t affect morale. We are happy and confident so it won’t affect the team.”
The salary situation is just the latest challenge for Sporle since the arrival of Covid-19.
When the season locked down, he was left in Dundee and couldn’t travel back home to Argentina to visit his family for fear of being blocked from returning to the United Kingdom.
It was a long, testing summer for Sporle but he has come through it and, with a groin injury now behind him, he is ready to stake his claim for a regular spot in Micky Mellon’s starting 11.
He said: “During the lockdown I stayed here because although I could get back to Argentina I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to return here.
“In the beginning when football stopped it was difficult but the club were very good and every day they spoke to me.
“I kept training here so I that I would be ready when the football started again.
“Back home it is worse with coronavirus and the league isn’t starting until October 30.
“Also, the economy in Argentina is very bad.
“When the players go back into training it is one test every two weeks not like we have here. It is far more controlled in Scotland.
“The first year here was difficult for me but this year has been better.
“The culture here is different, for example the food and the times people eat here.
“Here you have dinner at half past six but at home it is half past nine.
“The restaurant I go to closes hours earlier than the ones back home.
“When you go out at night back home the streets are full of people but here it isn’t the same because the culture is different.
“I enjoy it here, though, and feel I have adapted well.”
Sporle’s immediate goal is to be picked to face the Staggies.
His second target is to supply ammunition for United’s frontmen, who have failed to find the net in their last two Premiership games against Aberdeen and St Johnstone.
He added: “I am feeling fine and ready for Saturday.
“I had to stop for two weeks because of an injury but I have been happy to get back training.
“I have also been quite happy with my form.
“This season, for me, is better than last season in the Championship.
“I have played more games, feel more confident and have already scored a goal (against St Mirren).
“I now hope to play and to keep going in the team.
“Last season, my English was a lot worse than it is today so that was a challenge for me.
“I have had to be patient but it is much better this season.”
Ready to supply strikers
Asked if he could be the man to get the ball to Lawrence Shankland and Marc McNulty, Sporle replied: “I hope I can.
“I think they do need more crosses and more passes.
“It needs to be about attack for them not defence.
“I think in the last game, Lawrence and Marc did not get the chance to attack as much as they would have liked so hopefully that will change this Saturday.
“If people like me can give Shanks and Marc more passes and crosses then they will score goals for the team.”
United manager Mellon, meanwhile, would love another 2-1 win like the one his side secured in Dingwall on August 15 but knows it will be difficult to repeat that feat.
Mellon said: “It will be a tough game – they all are in the Premiership.
“We know that we’re going to have to be well prepared and be ready for another tough challenge.
“We know when we come up against Ross County that they are a well organised side. They didn’t have such a good result at the weekend but you know you are coming up against a side which is going to try to respond.
‘You know the threats they have but we also know that we’ve got threats and we’ll try and make sure we bring them to the game as well.”