Dundee United defender Mark Durnan has thanked the fans for the leading role they have played in maintaining the club’s excellent home record.
The Tangerines have lost only once at Tannadice in the league this season on their own park and that was to champions-elect Hibs when they had only 10 men.
That has left them with the best home record in the Championship and Durnan believes the supporters can take a lot of credit for that.
He feels the patient, educated manner in which they have stayed behind the side even as they struggled to break the opposition down has been really helpful to the players.
Now Durnan and his mates will ask for the same again this afternoon when they face second-placed Falkirk in a match United have to win if they are to have a realistic chance of beating the Bairns and Morton to the coveted runners-up spot.
“I think the fans have been right behind us and we’re grateful for that,” said Durnan, whose goal eight minutes from time gave the Tangerines a 1-0 victory over Peter Houston’s men back on October 29.
“At home, they have seen a few teams come and sit in and make it difficult for us.
“That was the case when we last played at home against Ayr.
“Even in that match, though, the fans were patient.
“I think that’s a big reason why we have been decent at Tannadice this season – they have not been on our back.
“They have stuck with us and we have come on strongly at the end of some games with their backing.
“The support at home has been really good and I don’t think it will be any different for this match.
“I’m not sure what Falkirk’s game plan will be but they do have good attacking players and can be positive.
“We just need to make sure that we take advantage of being at home and be on the front foot.
“Our away record hasn’t been good enough but hopefully we can kick on both home and away between now and the end of the season.
“We have six games left and four are at home, where Tannadice seems to have brought the best out of us this season.”
The party line at United’s St Andrews training base all week has been to be positive and not dwell on what was a hugely disappointing 4-2 loss down at Queen of the South last Saturday.
Durnan is certainly buying into that, saying: “We have looked at that match but we are also trying not to look too much at it, if that makes sense.
“We are trying to remain positive.
“It’s a balancing act because you need to look at where you have gone wrong but also keep the confidence up for a big game.
“It’s the old story of not getting too high when you are winning or too low when you are losing.
“Our destiny is in our hands.
“We know Saturday was disappointing but we need to put that behind us.
“This is a massive match against Falkirk because if we win we will be right behind them with a game in hand.
“We feel we still have promotion to look forward to.
“That’s our aim and it has never changed all season.”
The Tangerines were far too soft down at Dumfries and need to add some steel to their play – especially at the back – if they are to come away from this game with three points.
Durnan added: “We have lost a game and conceded poor goals but we can try to put that aside and not make those errors this Saturday.
“If we can do that then we will have a good chance.”
United boss Ray McKinnon is poised to hand a debut to midfielder Scott Allardice, who just turned 19 last week.
The Tangerines have three major injury doubts over goalkeeper Cammy Bell, midfielder Willo Flood and striker Thomas Mikkelsen, who scored both United’s goals against the Doonhamers.
Bell and Mikkelsen failed to complete 90 minutes at Palmerston, while Flood did last the whole match but took a knock.