Dundee United boss Micky Mellon is happy for striker Nicky Clark to continue to fly under the radar as long as he keeps banging in the goals.
Clark has been in top form in his debut Premiership campaign, notching five times in 13 games – with seven in all competitions.
He currently leads the scoring charts for the Terrors – ahead of star man Lawrence Shankland and fellow-Scotland hitman Marc McNulty.
His double won all three points for United against Ross County last weekend and gaffer Mellon says he is pleased for the 29-year-old as they prepare for their latest assignment tonight at St Mirren.
“He is the sort of lad with that mentality. He just gets on with his own business and doing his own thing,” the Tangerines’ manager said.
“He knows what he is good at and brings that to the group. He is also a good team-mate and a really good footballer.
“I am really pleased to see him, one of many improving and blossoming all the time and playing and making his mark at this level.
“His work rate is great. We want to develop a culture or a playing philosophy of pure, old-fashioned hard graft and running power, with and without the football.
“If you have that and you have people like Nicky, Shankland, Louis Appere and McNulty at the top end of the park, then it doesn’t have to change the way you can attack games.
“Nicky is right up there. I like when the ball comes into him in tight areas because he is a clever player and a really good finisher.
“He is another one who didn’t have much Premiership experience but he is fighting and grabbing his chance to try and forge a really good career in the top-flight.
“I am really pleased for him.”
Buddies’ fitness of no concern to United boss
McNulty returned to training this week after a hamstring injury ruled him out of the County clash. However, defender Mark Connolly will remain on the sidelines for this evening’s clash in Paisley with the same issue.
The Buddies have fitness concerns of their own, having not played a minute of competitive action for nearly four weeks after a host of positive Covid-19 tests rocked the squad and left Jim Goodwin’s side rudderless.
Despite their opponents’ troubles, Mellon remains fully focused on his own side and the task at hand – building on the win over the Staggies and solidifying fifth spot in the standings.
He added: “I really don’t know how people will react but what I will make sure is that we will be ready.
“We know it will be a tough game and it is a massive game, as they all are.
“We are going into that game and we will be ready.
“We will concentrate on getting ourselves focused and organised.
“Football is all about winning and picking up points and building up performances.
“It is good for the group if you win and there is a difference in the atmosphere.
“What we won’t do is get carried away and we have put another good week’s work in knowing we have another big game tonight.
“We need to make sure we go out and fight for another important three points.”
No drama at Tannadice as pay cuts hang over squad
Off the pitch, it has been a tough time for the Tangerines, too, with all football staff being asked to take 20% pay cuts by the club as the coronavirus pandemic tightens its grip on Scottish football.
The uncertainty didn’t seem to affect Mellon’s men last weekend, however, and he is backing them to maintain their focus this evening despite financial concerns.
He commented: “It’s something that when the time’s right we are all on board calmly – so there’s no big dramas.
“We’ve spoken about it loads now and where it is. In terms of us, it’s about training and trying to win games of football.
“We do know that it’s something that we’ll sort and make time for it but there’s, quite honestly, no big drama.
“We’re very calm about it. We know we’ll come to a place that suits everybody and we’ll do what we’re all here to do and that’s keep moving Dundee United forward and get through to the other side of this pandemic.
“At this minute in time, it’s been all about training and getting prepared for a big game tonight and another on Tuesday.
“The games are rattling in so we’re not finding much time at the minute but I’m sure when the time’s right we’ll sort things out and continue to move forward.”
The United boss insists the troubles they are facing are simple a sign of the times amid the global pandemic – pointing to the Scottish FA’s cost-cutting measures as an example.
Mellon continued: “There’s no big dramas. We’re a good football club with good people who understand it’s all about the club.
“It’s about getting through this pandemic like the rest of the world.
“We can see what’s happening around us with lockdowns and all the rest of it. Everybody is suffering.
“You only have to look at the SFA, our leaders of the game, they’re struggling as well and having to cut their cloth accordingly.
“We’re no different to anybody else. We as a football club will get through this, trying to continue to play football, and get to the other side, get fans back and back to normality.”