Dundee United manager Robbie Neilson admits he is keen to secure Nicky Clark’s long-term future at the club.
In the past couple of months, United have tied down the likes of Louis Appere, Calum Butcher and Benji Siegrist to contract extensions and now boss Robbie is eager to do the same with hitman Clark.
The 28-year-old’s deal is up next summer and his recent good form with star man Lawrence Shankland out of the team has done his chances of a new contract no harm.
The former Dunfermline and Rangers man has four goals in his last five games and is likely to continue up top this weekend as Alloa come to Tannadice.
“We have spoken to Nicky to try to extend his contract and we are in the process of trying to do that,” Robbie said.
“He picked up a couple of niggling injuries but has come back this season and looked sharp.
“Him and Shankland make a good combination up front.
“Over the past six weeks or so he has done very well for us and it’s something we hope to get done.”
One man who has signed a new deal until 2023 is Butcher and Robbie is delighted with that piece of business.
He added: “I actually knew Calum from his time before here and from his spell in England with Millwall and Mansfield.
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“He is a great character to have around the club. We have a lot of good young players coming through, even the likes of Jamie Robson and Liam Smith who still have to hit their prime.
“It is vital that you have constants in your squad and people who can provide leadership like Calum can.
“It was important to get him tied up again on a new deal and there are guys in our dressing-room who are leaders and others look up to them. I would include Calum in that group along with Mark Reynolds and Mark Connolly.
“People say it comes down to money and you can bring in 15 players but you don’t get continuity in the group. Hopefully, guys like him will give us that.
“I do believe that it’s important to have players around the club who will be there for the next three or four years.
“Calum is a fit boy who still has a good few years ahead of him.
“When he came in last January he wasn’t at his fittest because he hadn’t played but he’s been terrific for us. He can dominate games.
“You need guys like that who are settled in the area, their families are here and the fans can build a bond and a togetherness with them.”
With no game last weekend due to the frozen pitch at Morton, the Terrors took on Falkirk in a bounce game yesterday.
That will keep the Tangerines ticking over as they enter a hectic period of games after the trip to Cappielow was rescheduled for next Tuesday night.
Robbie insists the call off was the correct decision but that they had hoped to replay the game later in the season.
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“I did go down to Cappielow myself and the problem was that the sun wasn’t getting down the side in front of the main stand.
“Ideally, we would have wanted the game played later and we looked into trying to get that done. The problem we have is that there are no free weekends.
“The SPFL made the decision and wanted it played as quickly as we can and that meant the next free midweek. They want to avoid a possible backlog and don’t want to be chasing their tail a wee bit if the weather gets worse.
“Ayr’s game against Arbroath is being played that night as well so we accept it and will get on with it.
“That was the reason we took the Falkirk game because we need to get back into the habit of playing.”