Dundee United fans have been told they’re not just appreciated, they’ll be vital as the Championship promotion race reaches its climax.
That’s the view of Tangerines assistant boss Gordon Forrest, who admits since returning to Scottish football last month he’s been blown away by the level of support Arabs give their team.
Well over 2,000 headed for Falkirk on Saturday and, despite a small travelling support expected and the top two in the division meeting in Dingwall, tonight’s clash with Inverness Caley Thistle at Tannadice will boast the biggest turnout in the second tier.
While those kind of crowds can have a positive effect on the opposition, Gordon believes the positives of being the best-supported team in the division easily outweigh any negatives.
“The fans have been absolutely magnificent, particularly in the away games,” said the former Vancouver Whitecaps coach.
“When the players are coming out for their warm-up, during the game, you can see the stands are packed. The fans are singing, they’re cheering and it just makes a massive difference for the players.
“When we go back to Tannadice the noise levels there have been great. We appreciate it as a club and I know the players do.
“When we play against teams they do pick up to their maximum in terms of their performance, they raise their game a little bit but it helps us in that push to pick up the points in the run-in.”
Tonight, United will be without defender Freddy Frans after he had to come off with a groin injury at the weekend.
He will see a specialist about the problem and, while United are hopeful he will not be out for too long, he has no chance of making tonight or Sunday, when the teams return to Tannadice to battle it out in the Scottish Cup quarter-finals.
Rachid Bouhenna came on for Frans then had to go off late on with a facial injury, but could be OK.
“Freddy is probably looking at a longer time out. In terms of finer detail and the number of days or weeks it’s hard to say just now,” added Gordon.
“With Rachid, there was a lot of blood and a cut on the nose. You’ve got to be careful with that. Hopefully he can be patched up and be in the mix.”