Tony Watt is adamant Dundee United will not allow their Falkirk Stadium capitulation to derail a fine start to the season.
The Tangerines endured their first defeat in four months on Friday night, as a second-half collapse saw the Bairns run out 4-2 winners in the SPFL Trust Trophy quarter-final.
Watt, captain in the absence of Ross Docherty, found the net along with Mathew Cudjoe, but it was scarce solace as Jim Goodwin’s charges slumped to a first loss in 18 games.
We’ll be looking forward and staying positive because we are a good team.
But Watt is certain United will show their character and durability by responding in the right manner on Scottish Cup duty against Queen of the South this Saturday, insisting they cannot let a single defeat curtail their hard-earned momentum.
“One bad game doesn’t make a season – as long as we pick it back up against Queen of the South and kick on,” the experienced attacker told Courier Sport.
“I’m not saying anything negative about that competition (SPFL Trust Trophy) – we want to win everything we are in – but the priorities are the Scottish Cup this week, and then the Championship.
“And we’ll be looking forward and staying positive because we are a good team.
“Maybe we didn’t show that on Friday night, but you can’t win every game you play. That’s not a defeatist mentality; it’s just fact. Now, the challenge is to make up for that over the next few weeks and go on another run.
“We’ve had a brilliant season so far. The manager has been different class and the squad have been superb. And we’ll keep working hard.
“We can’t allow our standards to drop 10-15% just because we’ve lost one; start losing and drawing, here and there. That’s not us. It’s time to put down a marker and try to win every game put in front of us.”
Tadhal bhon sgiobair! 'S e Tony Watt le deagh tionndaidh le cluicheadair air a dhruim airson a' faighinn an tadhal.
A fantastic turn gives Tony Watt the space to shoot and give Dundee United the lead pic.twitter.com/9zKiAu1yyv
— BBC ALBA (@bbcalba) November 17, 2023
Watt added: “I’m sure this week will be the hardest one, in terms of the work we do to resurrect a good run.”
While he is ready for a gruelling few days on the training pitch, Watt revealed that boss Goodwin’s reaction to United’s reverse was anything but volcanic – despite later describing the fixture as a “reality check”.
“The gaffer didn’t go too hard on us because he knows how well we’ve done,” added the former Scotland and Celtic man. “But if we continue to play like that, then I’m sure he will have a few things to say about it.”
That’s life…mistakes happen
Meanwhile, Watt leapt to the defence of teammate Kevin Holt following an uncharacteristic error against Falkirk.
While churlish to focus on any individual following a collectively poor showing, Holt’s misplaced pass – allowing Callumn Morrison to hare through and score the Bairns’ fourth goal – was the most egregious mistake of the night.
But Watt has hailed the big defender as Dundee United’s “best player this season” and knows one errant moment will soon be forgotten.
“Sometimes things like that happen,” added Watt.
“Big Kev has been our best player this season. He tries to make a safe pass-back and it gets cut out; that’s life. Us strikers will make 100 mistakes a game and don’t get punished like that.”