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Dundee United goal hero Nicky Clark insists players will do all they can to help Tannadice club during cost-cutting process

Nicky Clark looks on after redirecting the ball with his chest to score United's second goal.

Dundee United match-winner Nicky Clark has stressed the players want to “help the club as much as possible” after being asked to take wage cuts.

The Tangerines showed commendable character to beat Ross County 2-1 at Tannadice on Saturday at the end of a difficult week.

United’s financial difficulties in dealing with the coronavirus crisis have been laid bare, with owner Mark Ogren warning the situation could get “messy.”

Negotiations between senior players and the club are ongoing and Clark, who scored both goals against the Staggies, is hoping for a resolution that means United’s predicament can be eased.

He said: “I don’t know how long it will take.

“We are in negotiations with the club – that’s where we’re at.

“We will take each day as it comes.

“The more senior boys in the team will be in discussions with Tony (Asghar, sporting director) and the directors.

“We will then see what we can agree on and take it from there.

“Obviously, we want to help the club as much as possible.

“It’s not just about us.

“It is a global pandemic, it’s out there and it is happening to everybody across the world.

“We have spoken about it and whatever happens with it happens with it.

“We will be in negotiations with the club and we’ll see where we get to.

“It is what it is but we will do what we can to help.”

‘This is our livelihood’

Clark’s partner Gillian is working at Ninewells Hospital as a physio and is on the Covid-19 frontline.

Seeing the threat of the pandemic at close quarters, he appreciates being able to do his own job during the crisis.

Clark said: “She is still working there and has been on the frontline.

“It is an incredible job that they do. I have seen it at first hand how hard it is for them when they are in every day and even at home.

“It is a case of straight into the shower to wash off. It’s tough but they all do a great job and everybody thanks them for what they do for us.”

He added: “This is our livelihood and it’s what we do.

Nicky Clark scores from the spot to make it 1-0. SNS Group.

“Even for people sitting at home, we are giving them something to watch. There is a wee bit of enjoyment for the fans.

“It would be great to get them all back in here at Tannadice. We miss them. For example, when County scored late on had our supporters been here it would have helped us a lot.

“I would like to see them back as soon as possible but in the meantime I am just delighted to be able to play football and long may it continue.”

Fully focused on game

Clark insisted the United players had no trouble focusing on the County clash.

He added: “There has been stuff going on, obviously, but we have just been concentrating on the football side of things.

“This was a massive game for us and another chance to get up to fifth in the league.

“We prepared well for it and you could see that the lads worked their backsides off and were rewarded with a huge three points.

“We are football players and want to be out on the pitch playing football. That is what we do best.

“We were fully focused on getting this result and I think you saw that in the performance.

“The togetherness – the spirit in the dressing room – is probably the best I have experienced in my career.

“We have a great group of boys and we’ll pull together.”

Correct scorer

Clark provided some light relief at Tannadice when he thought he had been robbed of his second goal.

After chesting in a shot from Mark Reynolds to make it 2-0 to the hosts on 52 minutes, the announcer read out the central defender’s name instead of Clark’s one.

Nicky Clark celebrates his opening goal. SNS Group.

As the sides lined up to restart the game, Clark turned and looked up at the stand, pointed to himself and shouted that he was the correct scorer.

Asked if he felt he had been robbed, Clark replied: “I thought I had been – yeah!

“The first thing I did when I came off was check my phone to make sure Sky Sports had it as me.

“I am delighted, obviously.

“To score two goals and get three points – I can’t ask for much more than that.

“I think it went in off my chest.

“It was certainly somewhere around there but who cares? As long as it goes in.

“To be fair to Mark, I think he realised what had happened. He knew it hit me.

“The big worry was whether I was offside or not but I’ve seen it back and I was onside.

“It probably isn’t as clear-cut when you are sitting in the stand and you can’t see it properly.

“I got done with one a couple of weeks ago against Kelty (Ryan Edwards was credited with the goal) so I didn’t want it to happen again.”