Dundee United’s Robbie Neilson has been awarded the Ladbrokes Championship manager of the month award for November, but he was quick to share the award with everyone at the club.
United won three out of four matches in November with wins against Queen of the South, Ross County and Inverness. Despite the heavy defeat to Ayr United last Friday at Tannadice, Neilson appreciated the award as testament to the way the club as a whole have gone about their business since his arrival.
“It’s nice recognition for everyone,” he said.
“Ultimately it’s the players that do it out on the pitch for us so I’m thankful to them and also the rest of the staff.
“Not just at the training ground but at the club as well because it’s a group effort to get points on the board and thankfully we’ve managed to do that in November.”
With the wounds from Friday’s 5-0 loss still sore, Neilson expects the team to work hard and move forward as they seek to take 12 points from the next four matches.
“It’s been a very good start since I’ve come in, obviously there is still a lot of work to do but I knew that when I came in,” he said.
“We’ve had a good period but obviously Friday was very, very disappointing but we have to move forward into December now and try and get points on board.
“We’ve got four big games coming up and we need to try and take maximum points out of it.”
Recent reports have suggested that the long running talks between the club and potential investors could be a done deal as early as this week. This could mean new American owners and the potential for investment in the playing squad, however the United gaffer is clear that it doesn’t impact the way he and the players go about their business on the pitch.
“When I came in I knew there was things happening in the background,” he said.
“I don’t know how far down the line it is and what’s happening with it because from the football perspective it’s not a massive influence on us to be honest with you.
“My job is to win on a Saturday, the players’ job is to perform every day and make sure they are ready to perform on a Saturday as well.
“If it happens, great, if it doesn’t then we continue doing what we are doing and try to get promoted.”
Neilson did admit that investment in the playing squad would be welcome, but he stressed that he has plans in place should the takeover fail to happen.
“I think investment helps any team,” he said.
“You want to invest in the infrastructure of the club and also invest in the players and the academy that’s here already because we got some very good first-team players but also some very good kids coming through so if we can use those funds to boost that then great.
“If the deal goes through and there is money there in January then great, if it’s not then I’ve still got plans put in place to make sure that we give ourselves the best chance of getting promoted.”
United attacker Fraser Aird picked up the player of the month award making it a clean sweep for both Championship awards and Neilson sees it as yet more recognition of the group as a whole and not just one person.
“It is one of the main things for us,” he said.
“I spoke to the guys when I came in that we do it together.
“It’s not defenders, goalkeepers and attackers – I’m not sure the last time a centre-half or a goalie won player of the month – but a lot of times they are the guys that put in the best performances, they’re the guys that can win you a league.
“Fraser has had a great month, as have a lot of the players as well, but the key for us is can they have a good December and a January and a February and a March and an April.
“If we are saying that in five or six months then we will be in a good position.”
Meanwhile, Dundee United Community Trust have announced that the club will welcome 120 local residents who may otherwise spend Christmas Day alone to Tannadice for food and activities.