New boy Aidan Nesbitt admits the need for three points and not any desire to impress watching owner Mark Ogren was what drove Dundee United to their 1-0 victory over Dunfermline.
Prior to kick-off on Saturday, the photographers’ lenses were trained on the directors’ box at Tannadice and not the pitch as US millionaire Ogren took his seat for the first time since buying the Tangerines last month.
His arrival had staff at United on their toes and manager Robbie Neilson expressing the hope his team would give their new supremo a win to welcome him.
Nesbitt, though, insists the chance to boost promotion hopes was all that concerned the players as they ran out.
“We were not thinking about the owner being there massively,” said the 21-year-old.
“Before a game you are concentrating on the performance, your role, what you have to do tactically.
“We have games Saturday to Saturday and sometimes even on a Tuesday. All you are really thinking about day-to-day is the next game and getting three points.
“Maybe afterwards there will be people talking about it and you are pleased you’ve got a win for him because it is the first time he’s been here.
“Before a game, though, it’s not something we’re thinking about.”
And, if Nesbitt and his team-mates would have liked to have played better in front of the man who pays their wages, he believes the owner could take encouragement from the way United battled for three big points.
In danger of being detached at the turn of the year, back-to-back defeats for Ross County and Ayr have left United just one win off the pace in the battle for automatic promotion.
And, if the former Celtic kid would have liked to have put on a better show for everyone who was at Tannadice, he knows getting the job done mattered most.
“Three points and the results elsewhere went our way, that makes it a good day.
“It was, obviously, a bit of a battle but we got there in the end and that’s what matters.Performance-wise it wasn’t the best and we would expect to play a lot better than that and put on a show but sometimes circumstances in a game mean it doesn’t go that way and then you need to grind it out and win it.”
If Nesbitt was nothing like satisfied with his own display, he had the consolation of knowing for the second week running he played a part in a vital goal.
His debut against Partick saw him win the penalty to earn United a point and on Saturday he provided the cross for Nicky Clark’s dramatic late winner.
“It’s good to contribute when you’re new and I’ve done that in my first two games.
“My game play against Dunfermline wasn’t good enough but to make contributions is important and if I’m still making those contributions when I’m playing better I will be happy.”
In setting up the all-important goal, Nesbitt showed character. He had not been happy with his performance but he wasn’t going to hide.
“I had a pass that went nowhere and, before the goal, a cross that went right to their keeper.
“When that happens you can put your head down and go into a shell, especially in a game like that one but you just need to keep going, believe in yourself.
“I kept going and when I saw Cammy I cut it back to him. It came back out to me and I saw a couple of boys running. Nicky made a brilliant run and when I saw him I just put it in that area and let him meet it. He’s done that and finished brilliantly. It was scrappy but one good ball and one good header and it’s a good day.”