Mark Reynolds has warned his Dundee United team-mates that today’s out-of-form opponents Queen of the South are more than capable of tripping up their promotion push.
The Doonhamers travel to Tannadice today on the back of seven straight defeats that have dropped them into a relegation battle near the foot of the Championship.
With the Tangerines having won three on the bounce themselves to propel them back into the title race, Robbie Neilson’s men are odds-on favourites to turn over the Dumfries side and continue their chase of leaders Ross County.
Reynolds is glad to see United “embracing the pressure” but he knows only too well how one poor result could mean the end of their automatic promotion hopes.
He told the Tele: “When you go on a winning run, it breeds confidence and gives a wee buzz about the place.
“Everyone has a spring in their step and it’s a good place to be just now.
“We’ve embraced the pressure we’ve started to come under.
“We know we have to win pretty much every game but we can only win one at a time and put three points on the board and see how other teams react.
“We knew the pressure was going to come, knew we’d have to step up.
“We also knew we weren’t always going to be able to play attractive football but would have to be effective to get ourselves over the line.
“Thankfully, in recent weeks we’ve managed to get that goal to get our noses in front and hold on to it.
“We’ve also come from behind and have shown different ways of winning but we are still finding our form and finding a style of play that suits the boys best.
“We are building up momentum which is key at this stage of the season.”
Queens have managed just one goal in their last six league matches, all defeats, but Reynolds is far too experienced to expect anything other than a testing afternoon.
He added: “Queens have good players who can score goals and change games for them.
“They’ve also got a good manager who knows his football and will be hurting.
“They will want to put an end to their run – we saw the other night when Dunfermline were on the back of a five-game winning run and we ended that.
“I’m sure Queens will be looking at us doing that and thinking they can do the same and end our run.
“Everybody has something to play for in the league just now, the play-offs are up for grabs and the bottom of the league has by no means sorted itself out.
“Three points are huge right throughout the league from top to bottom.
“Queens will come here looking for three points but we need to focus on what we can do, play the way we know we can and get the win.”
Ross County remain two points ahead at the top of the table with two games in hand going into the weekend’s games.
With the Staggies in the driving seat right now, Reynolds says it’s up to United to pile on the pressure by keeping their winning run going.
He said: “We can’t affect Ross County in terms of how they are going to play, all we can do is put points on the board and see how they react.
“We aim to keep doing that but ultimately if we don’t keep winning then we can pretty much gift them the league.
“If we don’t approach this one right we can trip ourselves up.
“We go into every game with the knowledge they can ultimately cost us a massive three points.”