Willo Flood does not make excuses — so when he says Dundee United have been rocked by injuries this past month or so, he’s just stating a fact.
At the same time, the Tangerines skipper is adamant anyone who thinks this means Csaba Laszlo’s men can’t go on and win automatic promotion could have egg all over their face come May.
When United drew at Dunfermline on Saturday, unavailable for selection because of injury were Scott Fraser, Fraser Fyvie, Stewart Murdoch, Lewis Toshney, Jordie Briels, William Edjenguele and even January signing Brandon Mason.
Of that list only full-backs Mason and Murdoch are expected to return in the next week or so.
The manager has refused to use that as an excuse for a run of poor results that’s seen his team drop eight points behind Championship leaders St Mirren.
His captain agrees with him, even though he believes the list includes the best performer in the second tier.
“We’ve had more than our fair share of bad luck with injuries. There are a lot of injuries we are having to cope with, especially to four or five lads who would be in the starting XI,” said Willo.
“When the gaffer first came in, Fraser Fyvie was in the team, Scott Fraser was in the team and Stewart Murdoch was in the team.
“You can’t get away from the fact these boys are important players for us.
“You are obviously taking the core of the team out and, for me, Scott Fraser is probably the best player in the division.
“People can say what they want about that but, on the ball, he is our most creative player and I think he is the best in this league.
“But they are out and we just need to come together as a group. I’m sure the club will bring in one or two more to help us for the rest of the season.”
Big as those losses have been, Flood has no doubts there is still enough quality at Tannadice to win the league.
He warns United should not be written off and, while he doesn’t hide from the drop in performance levels over the last couple of games, he knows what the team can do.
“Of course we don’t want to have dropped eight points behind St Mirren and Falkirk was an embarrassing result.
“But believe me there is a long way to go. At home we’ve been battering teams this season and that’s a fact, so you look at the away results and we have not been playing well enough.
“We need to rectify that, keep our home form going and make sure St Mirren are in for a big challenge.
“If we want to get close to them, we need to win games back to back and the sooner the better.
“With the ability we have in this team, and with the one or two more who maybe come in, we could win eight games on the bounce.”
And while the draw with the Pars saw United lose more ground on the Buddies, he does believe there was one big plus from the game.
“We stuck together and ground it out on Saturday and that was a plus.
“I’ve felt since the manager’s come in we either play really well and win well or we don’t play well and don’t get a result.
“We’ve never ground out a draw or a win and that was a big thing from the Dunfermline game. Like I say, we didn’t play well but it was a big plus.
“We looked a tight-kit group and we stuck together.”