Nadir Ciftci has thanked Dundee United boss Jackie McNamara for making him chilled out in front of goal and pledged it will make him score even more.
Ciftci was a star for United as his early opener put the Tangerines on the road to a famous 2-1 victory over champions Celtic at the weekend to take his tally for the season to eight.
McNamara felt the 22-year-old Turk was too fired up to try and break his 24-goal tally from last season, so recently sat down and spoke with the former Portsmoutn and NAC Breda man in a bid to make him more composed in the penalty box.
And fans’ favcourite Ciftci admits his pep-talk with the manger is paying dividends as he aims to keep firing on all cylinders over the festive period.
Ciftci said: “Of course, I am listening to the gaffer. He has spoken to me and what he says is right.
“He’s been great with me and told me just to relax when I’m in front of goal.
“I’m glad things are going the right way.
“I was very happy with my tally for last season, considering it was my first time in Scotland. From now on, I will try to think about it as little as possible.
“I feel that’s the best way to go about things. It’s a good thing to break the tally from last season but, you know, the less you think about it the better it will probably be for me.”
Ciftci is still on a high from dumping Rony Deila’s men and reckons the second-top Taysider’s proved they have the mettle to challenge near the summit of the Premiership for the entire season.
He said: “It was a great result against Celtic.
“Everyone is buzzing after beating a team of Celtic’s quality like we did last Sunday.
“Now we just have to try and build on it. We had been very disappointed with the way we played and lost against Aberdeen the previous week, so this is a huge boost obviously.
“We were down but the way we won against Celtic showed the character within all of us.”
Ciftci also thanked his Tannadice team-mates for helping him get back to scoring ways.
He said: “It’s always great to score, especially in such a big game. It’s what strikers want to do every time they go onto the par. It’s good for confidence but, at the end of the day, I’m more happy for the team to get the three points than anything else.
“I couldn’t score without my team-mates. They give me great service and it’s my job to try and put the ball in the back of the net.”
United travel to McDairmid Park this weekend to take on Tommy Wright’s Saints, with nobody within the Tangerines camp expecting anything other than a testing 90 minutes.
And Ciftci said: “This is another tough game. We want to go on a winning run. But we know it is never an easy game down in Perth. We will have to be ready for it from the first whistle which I’m sure we will be.
“The gaffer will have us well prepared and then it will be up to us to go out and do a job on the park. This is a big period coming up over Christmas.
“We have the Dundee derby game to look forward to on New Year’s Day. But it is all about trying to get another victory on Saturday.
“There are lots of games coming up in a short period so it is very exciting for everyone connected with the club.”