Logan Chalmers aims to keep repaying his manager’s faith in him after playing the game of his young life for Dundee United.
It was a heck of a challenge to outshine comeback striker Lawrence Shankland and his wonder goal on Saturday but Chalmers almost managed it.
The 20-year-old tore into St Mirren at times and was incredibly unlucky not to score himself as the Tangerines beat the Buddies 2-1.
Chalmers also sent over the corner that eventually led to Lawrence Shankland’s superb opening goal.
His swashbuckling display, operating on the right rather than his usual left side, even had his boss Micky Mellon asking if anyone could show him a better performance from a young, Scottish-born player.
That is high praise indeed from Mellon but Chalmers deserved it.
Having featured in all eight of United’s league clashes so far under the new gaffer – five from the start and three as a substitute – his aim is to make Mellon glad he has written his name on the team lines so often.
The Dundonian, who has come through the club’s academy and made his debut three years ago, said: “The gaffer has always told me that if I put the work in my quality will show through and I felt like that was the best I’ve played since I came into the side.
“That is good to hear (Mellon’s post-match praise) but I just need to keep taking it game by game to make sure he keeps that faith in me.
“He demands a lot of hard work, which is a side of my game that people maybe doubted I had in me.
“At youth level, I didn’t do the amount of tracking back required of me but I now know that side of it comes before skill.
“I probably didn’t expect to have been involved as much as this but I seemed to hit the ground running when the new manager came in and for me, as well as some of the other young boys, it has been a fresh start.
“Last season I went out on loan to Arbroath but only played the once, which wasn’t what I had hoped for, but it was an experience going to a part-time team.
“It was one I probably didn’t want to do but it’s one you have to do to get experience so you come back a more mature player.
“I came on in the first game of the season (against St Johnstone), worked hard all the next week, got a start on the Saturday at Motherwell and I’ve been in pretty much ever since then.”
Chalmers received a back-handed compliment from St Mirren’s Richard Tait, who lost his temper and scythed into the United player down near the tunnel corner flag.
It was a straight red card and the decision was deemed to be correct even by Buddies boss Jim Goodwin.
It seemed that Tait became frustrated as his opponent kept possession and Chalmers, to his credit, kept his cool when chopped down.
“It was a bad challenge and definitely a red,” he said.
“I’m bruised and strapped up as a precaution but it will be fine.
“It was maybe a bit of frustration because he couldn’t get the ball off me and it definitely put us in a better position.”