Nicky Clark reckons Dundee United’s army of fans deserve just as much praise as the players for the team’s recent run of form.
The Terrors have won their last eight games, the latest a hard-fought 1-0 win at Arbroath (see video below), as they’ve left the other Championship contenders trailing in their wake.
It’s an amazing run which has United odds-on favourites to claim the title come May – or much sooner as may well be the case.
However, while Clark is delighted to see the team receiving praise from all quarters, he’s quick to highlight just how vital the supporters have been as the Tangerines have negotiated a difficult run of fixtures.
He’s now hoping to see a bumper crowd at Tannadice on Saturday, when Ayr United come to town for the division’s game of the day.
And, if they can mirror the backing given to the team in the win at Gayfield, he’s confident the home fans will be heading home with an early Christmas present.
Clark said: “The fans have backed us in numbers (at Arbroath) that can only be described as incredible.
“They also went down to Morton on what was a horrible night. It’s great and I would stress that the boys really appreciate it.
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“I want to say a massive thank you to the supporters for backing us the way they have. It helps when you hear them singing along.
“You look behind the goal and see them all standing and cheering us. It definitely gives you that extra wee bit towards the end of the game.
“I wouldn’t say we were hanging on but they (Arbroath) were throwing everything at us, and the support helped.”
Clark, who saw his second-half penalty saved by Arbroath goalkeeper Derek Gaston, admits the side are showing great resilience to grind out results, even when the elements make it tough
The striker added: “We knew it would be tough and the conditions weren’t great.
“That made it very hard and the game was scrappy. But we showed we can win games like that.
“We battled away well and that’s a massive three points for us.
“That was a really difficult week for us but we have come through it with three wins and nine points.
“Alloa at home, Morton away and then Arbroath – we showed what we are all about.
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“Winning eight in a row is a great achievement because we have seen before in this league how everybody can beat everybody else.
“It is very tough and usually the team that goes on a run sits at the top of the league.
“We are up there and while it is nice to have won eight straight we now have two very tough games either side of Christmas against Ayr and Dundee.
“We will keep going. We have a good group in there and everyone at the club has the same ambition – to get back where United belong.”
Meanwhile, the striker admits the missed penalty at Gayfield wasn’t his finest moment.
And he revealed a change of heart in the run-up cost him dear.
“It was a bad penalty. I’m frustrated because I changed my mind at the last moment and I don’t know why.
“For the last few penalties, I have stuck to my guns and I have scored them. I never look at goalies when I am taking penalties. I just pick a side and hit it there but I changed this time.”
He continued: “It wasn’t to be but it happens in football and it won’t faze me.
“The boys managed to help me out by getting the three points and it’s a huge win for us.”