Dundee United captain Mark Reynolds has hailed the Tangerines’ climb to fifth place in the Premiership as a “huge achievement.”
In the wake of their 2-0 win over Kilmarnock at Tannadice on Wednesday night, manager Micky Mellon claimed his players’ efforts had gone under the radar perhaps because of United’s history and tradition as one of Scotland’s leading clubs.
His argument was that had they been a smaller newly-promoted team then people might have given them more pats on the back than they have received for reaching midway in the campaign with 24 points.
Reynolds thinks that analysis is spot-on but he also stressed that no one will be sitting back and resting on any laurels.
The central defender said: “I think we have gone unnoticed and not really had any credit.
“I don’t know if it is just the way the season has gone or the general situation, with no fans at the games.
“People have had a lot of other things to concentrate on but we are the team that has just been promoted and are trying to consolidate our place in the league.
“We are now a number of games into the season and we are sitting in fifth spot so that is a huge achievement for this team.
“We are still kind of finding our identity,” added Reynolds.
“We are still a team in transition.
“We came up from the Championship, where we were expected to win every week, dominate and score goals.
“This, though, is a league with a lot of extremely good sides in it, even the teams lower down in the table. You have teams there who dominated the Championship not too long ago and were promoted in convincing fashion.”
Reynolds also looked at the bigger picture, with coronavirus making life difficult for everyone.
“It has been tough and we are trying to find our feet,” he said.
“You also have to throw into the mix that we have a new manager who came in midway through pre-season in the midst of a pandemic.
“We have had a lot of things to deal with and I think as a squad we have dealt with them well.
“Maybe when you put your head up and say you deserve credit you make yourself a target. People start saying: ‘Oh, we’ll see how they are doing at the end of January, March time, the split or whenever.
“Look, if we continue to go unnoticed or not getting the credit we think we deserve then I will be happy as long as the team is still doing well.”
Next up for Mellon’s men is a home game against Motherwell on Saturday.
They carry a huge amount of momentum into the Boxing Day clash, thanks to what Reynolds called a “complete” display against Killie that saw front pair Marc McNulty and Lawrence Shankland get on the scoresheet.
Winner at Motherwell
The United skipper, who grabbed the winner when they won down at Fir Park earlier in the season, said: “That performance against Kilmarnock ticked a lot of boxes.
“We had Shanks and Sparky working hard up top and for both of them to get very good goals was huge for us.
“Also, as a defensive unit, we did well to get the 4-4-2 shape working well.
“We were delighted because I think that is the most control we have had over a game for a very long time.
“I think the Killie game was the most complete performance we have produced all season.”