The sight of a packed Tannadice and news of fans camping out all night to get tickets has made Mark Connolly even more determined to make sure Dundee United get back to the Premiership this weekend.
The Irish defender was blown away by the atmosphere at an near-full Tannadice on Thursday night as the Tangerines and St Mirren fought out a goalless draw in the first leg of the play-off final.
And he was just as impressed by hearing that earlier this week hundreds of fans spent an entire evening outdoors to secure tickets for Sunday’s second leg in Paisley.
Now he want to repay every United supporter by letting them spend the summer looking forward to that long overdue top-flight return next term.
“When I’m reading about people camping out overnight to get tickets for Sunday’s game and everyone has just been buzzing, there is a real excitement about the club, it’s great,” he said.
“The appreciation we have for the fans is huge and it doesn’t go unnoticed what they do. We have been talking about it in training and we’ve been saying how great it is.
“I’ve even had people texting me from back in Ireland and also down south talking about how great it is.
“It’s fantastic and I would try and get them all a ticket for the second game. Unfortunately we can’t and there will be only 1,500 there but they really push us on and, hopefully, we can do it for them on Sunday.”
Last night United didn’t get the first-leg lead they so desperately wanted but Connolly is not viewing the share of the spoils they did get as a bad result.
“It was a clean sheet against a Premiership side, so it’s a good result. It’s still all to play for on Sunday and the two teams are going into the game with a chance, so it should be a brilliant game.
“They are the home team now so I would expect them to come out a little bit more and be a bit more of an attacking threat but that should suit us.
“We know what we have to do and we know it can be difficult being the home team when the pressure is on you. We kept trying but when they lost the ball they got every man behind it and it’s difficult when it’s like that.
“We had some chances and we had numerous balls that went across the six-yard box and we could have, probably should have, scored.”
United won at St Mirren in the Scottish Cup in February and that’s another fact he believes will boost them when the teams do battle again.
“Knowing we’ve won there is definitely a help. It’s a one-off now and it’s going to be tough but we feel we have a chance and we want to take it.
“They have had some big games in the top flight this season, Celtic, Rangers and they’ve got results away at Aberdeen and Hearts so they are a good side.
“So are we and we wanted to be going there with a chance and we are, so it’s a great opportunity.”
Connolly finished the 90 minutes last night with his nose packed with cotton wool after taking a knock during the second half.
He might have a broken nose but that will not stop him taking his usual place in the centre of the defence for the return leg.
“It’s a bit sore but it’s OK,” he confirmed
“It was just an elbow in the face, and it’s nothing for me to worry about.
“I don’t know if my nose is broken but it will be OK for Sunday and I can’t wait.
“It’s going to be like a cup final, all these play-off games are like that.
“It’s one where we are confident we can do down there and come back with a result.”