Dundee United midfielder Peter Pawlett says he’s been impressed by the “fresh ideas” head coach Tam Courts has brought to the table.
United have opened the Courts era with four wins from four and progress into the Premier Sports Cup knockout stages for the first time since 2017.
Pawlett has scored twice in the process – including Tuesday night’s winner at East Fife – and is enjoying his football under a new gaffer.
United comfortable with ‘clear-cut’ ideas
“It’s been good so far, I’m really enjoying it,” he said.
“There’s no pressure on us, we just go and play, but we’ve got a system we all work from and work for each other in.
“There’s fresh ideas.
“I’ve worked under a lot of managers but I’ve been really impressed by him.
“All managers have their own structures and ideas and as a player you’ve got to adapt to that.
“Obviously, there’s been changes. Different formations, styles, do we press or sit off?
“But it’s so far, so good and we’re really looking forward to the season.
“It’s really structured, we know what we’re doing and there’s no rough ideas.
“It’s all clear cut and we have meetings on a daily basis to share ideas.
“As forward players we know what we’re doing, midfielders and defenders. It’s all good.
“We feel comfortable on the pitch and trust everyone around us. That’s the most important thing.”
Sharing of ideas builds togetherness
For Pawlett, just as important as taking on the new manager’s methods is the players being encouraged to have an input in on-pitch decisions.
He continued: “I think that’s the way football is right now.
“It’s changed, you can have conversations or disagreements but still grow together as a team.
“We’re all on the same page, wanting success and to win.
“I think when you have that relationship with the manager and the coaching staff – you feel the togetherness.
“When you all trust each other only positive things can, surely, come of that.”
Pawlett relishing Aberdeen return
The Terrors’ first real test under their new boss will come next Sunday as they head north for their Premiership opener at Aberdeen.
The surroundings of Pittodrie will be familiar for Pawlett – and other former Dons in the United squad Charlie Mulgrew, Lawrence Shankland and Mark Reynolds – but the 30-year-old says they’re only focused on one thing.
He added: “It’s a good game to start with and one we’re really looking forward to.
“Hopefully there’ll be some fans in the stadium to add to the atmosphere a bit.
“Playing for Aberdeen for so many years adds something to it but, at the end of the day, it’s all about Dundee United, trying to get the three points and a good start to the season.
“I’m sure both camps are looking for that but we’ve made a positive start and it’s all about us.
“We’ll have a good week on the training field leading up to it.”
Chalmers a Pawlett of old?
On Mulgrew, Pawlett has been impressed with what the new signing has brought to the fold.
Now the old heads after spending some time together as kids at Aberdeen, he says they’re hoping to nurture the Tangerines talented young crop into the stars of tomorrow.
Pawlett commented: “He’s been really good, brought experience and is still a top player.
“He’s an international, great character and brings a calmness on the ball with that great left foot.
“It’s all positive with him and I’m really enjoying playing with him again after a stint at Aberdeen.
“It was just a season and I was just breaking into the first team at the time.
“It’s all change now – we’re the old heads and there’s some great young boys coming through.
“They’re top class and have bright futures ahead.
“We’re hoping to have an input in their careers and help them in any possible way.
“(Logan) Chalmers is a top player.
“When he’s one-on-one with you he’s so difficult to defend.
“He’s got that little change of pace and dip inside that’s so hard to play against.
“I’m delighted he’s signed a new contract here, hopefully he can settle in and play loads of games, score goals and assists.
“I think he needs to bring that to his game and he’s more than capable of that – he’s got an unbelievable left foot on him.
“When that first goal goes in he’ll really kick on.”