Dundee United midfielder Scott Fraser admits he has never been happier than he is now.
The 21-year-old certainly played with a smile on his face on Tuesday night as the Tangerines bossed their Betfred Cup clash against Partick Thistle, with the 3-1 scoreline arguably flattering their Premiership opponents such was United’s dominance.
The reward for victory is a quarter-final match away to Morton next month but before that comes the all-important business of the league at Dumbarton today.
Fraser’s performance against the Jags was top-notch but, like the rest of his teammates, he had to concede the man-of-the-match award to hat-trick hero Cammy Smith.
However, it should be more than enough to keep him in the side to face the Sons, albeit Dutch playmaker Nick van der Velden is available after suspension.
Fraser’s job satisfaction largely stems from the freedom given to him by boss Ray McKinnon as one of the three players operating behind the main striker.
He revealed: “I am really enjoying playing in the side right now and this is probably the happiest I have been for over a year.
“This season I have started on the right and many people maybe think that’s a strange position for a left-footed player.
“However, it’s pretty fluid and any of the three behind the main striker can go wherever they want as long as, when we lose the ball, we work hard to get back into the shape.
“I think we have all done that.
“We now have a lot of good players who can play in the three.
“There is definitely competition for places and that’s exactly what the manager has been wanting.
“He gets paid to make the choices and we’ll have to wait and see who gets the go-ahead for Saturday.
“I think that shows that we have a good squad here.”
Key to United’s excellent cup win was a strong start and Fraser is looking to get off to another flyer against Dumbarton.
He said: “The manager emphasised the need to start well against Partick and we did that.
“We were 3-0 up within half-an-hour so it couldn’t have gone much better.
“I think you saw the confidence grow in the team and that was great.
“Now we need to carry that on to Saturday.
“I think maybe some people just expected us to win against Queen of the South at home and maybe it’s the same against Dumbarton.
“However, we are under no illusions as to how hard this league is going to be.
“The gaffer, more than anyone, has stressed how tough it’s going to be and he knows what he is talking about having been at Raith last season.
“He has emphasised how important it is for us to be at 100% in every game.
“We will travel with momentum from midweek, though.
“For us to go and dominate Thistle as much as we did has given us a lot of confidence.
“We will also have a great support behind us and will be looking to give the fans something to cheer.”