Dundee United defender Paul Watson says it’s vital the Tangerines “keep the foot down” in the final two matches of the season as they bid to hit the play-offs on top form.
The 28-year-old knows only too well how difficult the Premiership play-offs can be, having been part of the Falkirk side beaten by United two years ago.
This weekend he comes up against his former side, though the Bairns right now are in danger of leaving the division by the wrong door this time around.
And although the Tangerines are guaranteed a place in the play-off semi-final – to face the winner of Ayr v Inverness – Watson knows they can’t afford to let their level drop against Falkirk this week and Morton next Saturday.
He said: “It’s important that, although we know we are in the play-offs, we keep our foot down and win these remaining games to keep momentum going into those play-off games.
“I think we have 10 days before we play so we have to make sure we’re right up for it – I’ve been there before and these games are not easy at all.
“ICT and Ayr have both picked up a few injuries and I’m sure they’ll get those players back for the play-offs, so they will be completely different games.
“There is tension, a different atmosphere so we need to make sure we are at it, organised and we win games.”
The Tangerines feel they are beginning to hit form at the right time of the season with many of the new signings who came in during the winter transfer window starting to find their feet.
Watson is one who has been part of the squad since the beginning of the campaign but he says the introduction to the XI of experienced players like Mark Reynolds have injected a new-found confidence across the team.
Watson added: “In the play-off games the squad is massively important.
“The manager always bangs on about that and we’re lucky we have a right good squad all over the pitch.
“Against Ayr the other week we had Nicky Clark and Pavol Safranko coming on in the second half which isn’t what you want to see as a defence.
“We also have Osman Sow coming back to fitness which will be a massive bonus for us so we are in good shape.
“We have Mark Reynolds there who is so experienced and a good player and you get confidence from having them in your side.”
A hard-fought shut-out at Inverness in their last game also adds to the confidence of the backline with Watson and his fellow defenders having to see off a testing Caley Thistle attack.
“You have to dig deep in games like that and I thought we did that to get the clean sheet.
“Clean sheets are something we haven’t done consistently enough this season.
“I don’t think we’ve scored enough goals as a team but we’ve not kept them out either and that’s why we are where we are.
“Since January and the additions that came in, we’ve been getting better and better and I think everyone is getting up to pace at the right time.”
Among those hitting form at the right time is Paul McMullan, who grabbed a second goal in two games in the Highlands, and Pavol Safranko, who also made it two goals in two games.
Watson added: “Saturday’s goal was a great finish from Safranko and McMullan is red hot at the moment, can’t stop scoring, he’s flying.
“Just training against McMullan isn’t easy – it’s hard enough trying to overlap him in a game! He and Safranko are so confident at the moment, it’s great for us because you just give them the ball and they go and express themselves.”