Billy Mckay believes Dundee United have proved beyond doubt that the football they play is good enough to keep them in the Premiership.
And at Inverness on Saturday, according to the former Caley Thistle man, they showed they have the battling qualities needed for a relegation scrap as well.
Now the plan is to “put it all together” against Motherwell on Saturday and beyond.
Mckay, who scored his eighth United goal at the weekend in 17 appearances, said: “I don’t think it was one of our best football performances but it was one of our best fighting performances.
“In terms of passing the ball and getting the ball down and playing we’ve done better over the last few weeks.
“We’ve carved teams open and not taken our chances but today we didn’t have many chances yet we scored two goals.
“The way we got about Inverness is something to take away from the game. When we put it all together I’m sure we’ll get the win we’re looking for.”
He added: “It’s just the luck that isn’t going our way at the moment.
“If we get the win we’ll kick on.
“If you’d watched our last four or five games and you didn’t know the league table you wouldn’t believe we’re down the bottom.
“But we know the most important thing in football is winning and we have to make that happen.”
Bottom of the Premiership is an unforgiving place, and there was yet more evidence of that in the Highlands.
Everything pointed to a United win.
They were the hungrier side, particularly in the first half, and got a deserved opener from John Rankin when he timed his run perfectly to finish off a Scott Fraser cut-back.
Then, even more impressively, they recovered from the loss of a soft equaliser from Liam Polworth and a spell of ICT pressure to grab themselves what should have been a late winner from Mckay, who reacted like the predator he is to cash-in on keeper Fon Williams’s fumble.
But slip-through-the-fingers-itis was contagious. Two minutes into added time Michal Szromnik made a hash of a cross from the left and Lewis Horner scored with his shoulder.
Of all the blows that the United players have had to absorb in the last few months, this was the sorest.
“I think it was,” said Mckay.
“There have been a lot of games we feel we shouldn’t have lost, and this was one we should have won.
“When you lose a goal so late it feels like a defeat.
“But we have to take the positives out of it and go again next week.”
For Mckay personally, his goal was a reward for continually taking up good positions in and around the Caley Thistle box.
“I was close to connecting with a couple of crosses,” he said. “The first one could only have been after about 30 seconds.
“I had a shot which was deflected as well. The keeper made a good save on the floor.
“I got my goal near the end and I thought it was going to be the winner. That wasn’t meant to be and it’s just the way things are going for us just now.
“We need to change that. It’s only us who can do that. We’ve got enough in the dressing room to change it.”
It isn’t just United who believe their league position doesn’t reflect their current form.
Caley’s Horner said: “They didn’t look like a team at the bottom.”
Even though the draw felt like a defeat, at least United were able to cut the gap between themselves and free-falling Kilmarnock to seven points.
Mckay said: “The performance wasn’t for nothing. We got a point.
“If we get a win next week this point will look a lot better.
“I think with the manager we’ve got and the quality in the dressing room we’ve got enough to get out of this and push on.
“If we’re close to the other teams in February and March, who knows what can happen, especially when it comes to the split.”
Szromnik protested that he had been impeded for Caley Thistle’s last-gasp goal, but his manager wasn’t of a similar mind.
Mixu Paatelainen said: “Clearly we should punch that ball away because there’s pressure on the keeper. It’s so stupid.
“I don’t think it’s a foul on the keeper. Punch it away and clear the danger, regroup and deal with the next situation. Then the game might have been over.
“You pay the price if you make the wrong decisions.
“They work very hard and have got determination and knowledge how to play. That’s where everything starts, but we play for results.
“One point is better than nothing but three points would have been sweet. We now wait until next week and go again.”