Tam Scobbie: Dundee United fans and players are back as one

Tam Scobbie in action for Dundee United

Influential Tam Scobbie is delighted with the six points from two games that have put Dundee United back within a whisker of the top of the Championship.

And just as important to him is the way he feels the Tangerines players have reconnected with a support he knows was doubting if they share their desire for success.

United have not just played good football in the wins over Dumbarton and St Mirren that leaves them only trailing the Buddies on goal difference at the top of the table, they also battled hard.

Arabs have responded to that with their backing from the stands and Scobbie is determined that togetherness will continue.

“The big thing we spoke about over the past couple of weeks was the effort. We spoke about five-second bursts to get the ball back and working hard for each other,” he said.

“On Saturday, there was one incident with Willo (Flood) in the middle of the park where he got in about three or four guys and managed to get the ball back. Things like that give the stadium a boost because it shows the fans we are working hard.

“We do want to win. I think some fans were thinking we didn’t want it as much as they do. But I think the last two performances have shown we want it just as badly. That’s always been the case.”

The 29-year-old gives credit to caretaker boss Laurie Ellis for the way that’s happened. He doesn’t hide his admiration for the way the man in temporary charge has got things going again.

“It’s been a difficult situation for everyone at the club but Laurie has done an unbelievable job in the past couple of weeks and he’s not done any discredit to his name.

“He’s been phenomenal. From coaching to things like the video analysis, he’s been brilliant along with Dave Bowman and Stuart Garden. They can pat themselves on the back and say they’ve done a good job.

“Laurie came in with Ray McKinnon and he was disappointed when Ray was relieved of his duties. He’s professional, has his responsibilities and carried them out.

He’s tweaked a few things he thought needed changing and it’s worked. He speaks with the boys, we have meetings and he asks for our input. We’ve listened to him and bought into what he’s said.”

One of those changes was to bring the fit-again Scobbie back after more than two months out with a groin injury.

Not at left-back where he’d been playing when he first arrived from St Johnstone in the summer but at the heart of the defence.

In part that was down to a lack of match fitness but also because he wanted Scobbie’s influence in the middle of the park. The 29-year-old has responded to that.

“I spoke to Laurie and he asked me what I thought. I said I felt centre-half would probably be better for me to go and play because I could get 90 minutes there and I feel I can affect the team from there.

“I try to organise and tell boys where to go. I’m just enjoying being back. It was a long 10 weeks out and it was tough watching.”

Another key change has been using Scott Fraser, who’s also had his fitness problems, in an advanced role in the centre, and Scobbie believes he can be a key player in the promotion drive.

“It’s been difficult for Scott, he’s been in and out of the team because of this problem with his foot.

“The big thing for us is keeping him fit because when he plays he brings a lot of the players round him into the game.”