Tony Watt hopes a crucial goal and assist in a vital victory for Dundee United is evidence he is worthy of a starting berth for the Tangerines.
The 30-year-old has confessed he was frustrated to find himself on the bench for Saturday’s trip to face Ayr United at Somerset Park.
After the Tannadice men had drawn a blank against Dunfermline seven days previously, manager Jim Goodwin decided to shake things up in attack.
However, Watt wasted no time in proving his point after being introduced for Alex Greive in the 58th minute with United still trailing to Jamie Murphy’s second-minute strike.
Just nine minutes later, the Scotland cap had hauled his side level with his 10th goal of the season.
And, with a disappointing draw on the cards, the vice-captain produced an intelligent cross to find skipper Ross Docherty for a dramatic 82nd-minute winner.
“Obviously you want to prove a point and come on and score,” said Watt. “And thankfully I did that and I got an assist as well.
“I think I’ve proved my point all season and my overall play’s been really good.
“I was disappointed not to play but you just need to get on with it. You need to work hard to show you should be playing every game, and put your point to the manager and show what you can do for the team.
“I think we’ve got a very good squad; a squad capable of going up and staying up, as well.”
A captain’s role
With a top-of-the-table encounter with a faltering Raith Rovers next up for United, victory was important.
Now with a four-point lead at the summit of the Championship, they have some breathing space going into the February 16 meeting at Stark’s Park.
Unlike the last time the teams met, when Raith surged five points ahead, United know they will retain first place even if they lose. Win, on the other hand, and they will open up a sizeable seven-point advantage.
That all emphasises the importance of Docherty’s winning goal.
Watt was delighted to have a hand in the clincher and equally as thrilled for his captain to enjoy a moment of glory with just his second goal for United in an injury-curtailed campaign.
“It was brilliant,” added Watt. “Doc’s worked so hard and he’s had a few unlucky injuries. He’s not had a great rest in the summer after his schedule [with Partick Thistle] last season.
“But now he’s starting to feel the benefits.
“I’ve seen the hard work he’s put in and the tough weeks he’s had and the tough months during winter when he was struggling with his calf. But he never gave up and that’s why he was driving us on to a win.
“He deserved that on Saturday. It’s special for him.”