Scott Fraser is hoping Dundee United won’t need another Willo Flood war cry to get them battle-ready at Tannadice tonight.
Fraser and his teammates sat and listened as Flood fired off a few home truths during half-time of Friday night’s Premiership quarter-final against Dunfermline at Tannadice.
At that stage, the Tangerines found themselves 1-0 down to a Pars side that more than deserved their lead.
As they tried to regroup over their energy drinks and bars, the wee Irishman dug deep to deliver a talk that helped United transform themselves from likely losers into winners in the second half.
They went on to score through first Scott McDonald’s equaliser then Sam Stanton’s wonderful winning strike to earn their place against the Championship’s runners-up.
So it is straight back into action for the first leg of the semi-final at Tannadice tonight – the return game is on Friday at the Tony Macaroni Arena – and Fraser hopes there is no need for another verbal volley from Flood.
He said: “There were some strong words said at half-time.
“I think a lot of credit has to go to Willo because he had a lot to say.
“He was spot-on with everything he said.
“I wouldn’t say it was criticism from him, more that he was pointing out that we should expect more from ourselves.
“No offence to Dunfermline but we felt we were a better team than them but hadn’t shown that,” added Fraser, who is interesting Blackpool as well as long-time suitors Hearts.
“The gaffer also had his say to settle us and we went out with some wise words ringing in our ears.
“We knew within those 45 minutes we could score two goals and so it proved.
“In the second half we got on top and reverted back to how we finished the first leg at East End Park.
“The introduction of big Tam (Mikkelsen) unsettled them and gave me and Scott McDonald more room in which to play.
“Thankfully, we managed to get the two goals we needed.
“I think you all saw the difference between the halves.”
United boss Csaba Laszlo had a dig at the scheduling of the games after the Pars win and Fraser also believes there should be more time between matches.
Asked if bit daft to be playing such crucial games Friday-Monday, Fraser replied: “It is a bit, yes, and I don’t know who comes up with that sort of stuff.
“It is what it is, though, and we have good facilities over at St Andrews to help us recover then prepare for the game.
“The physios will help us get ready and we will go again.”
Fraser is expecting Livi to be tough, physical opponents this evening but he feels – the loss down at Queen of the South apart – the Tangerines have been playing well enough to get through to the final against the 11th team in the Premiership.
He said: “I think we have shown everyone what we can be capable of, not just in the play-offs but over the past few games going back to the St Mirren win, with the exception of the Queen of the South defeat which is one we want to forget about.
“I think we have bounced back and looked like a good team at times.
“We have produced some big performances at home, especially, but the first half against Dunfermline wasn’t nearly good enough and we need to improve on that if we are to get through.
“It will be tough against Livingston.
“We know what they do. They are a big side who play their style well.
“We will have to come up with a few ideas to help us deal with that.
“The games are coming thick and fast and we know we are only through the first part of the play-offs. Hopefully, there are another two to go.”
There is likely to be a change of starter in goal for United.
Deniz, who had established himself as first-choice, hurting himself while celebrating United’s equaliser on Friday.
Commenting on the incident via social media on Saturday, the player wrote: “Thanks to everyone for your messages of concern following last night’s freak accident. Wasn’t an attempted backflip! Having precautionary scan to make sure everything is OK.”
Maybe so but the Tangerines are still expected to start with Harry Lewis between the sticks.