Dundee United owner and chairman Mark Ogren has said that the fan support during the play-off campaign has been “awesome” and “absolutely” underlines why he invested in the Tangerines.
The Minnesota-based businessman has jetted in for the play-off campaign and is hopeful he can witness the club return to the Scottish Premiership at the expense of St Mirren on Thursday and Sunday.
“We are in the position that we hoped we’d be in,” he said.
“We are halfway there, we would have loved to have won the Championship outright and got promoted, but this is the next best path and it is a more direct path than we took the last couple of years.
“One last play-off series that we have to play in, we came out of our first round and we are halfway there.
“Hopefully we can pull it off.”
Tickets for the second leg of the play-off final at St Mirren have sold out with hundreds of Dundee United supporters camping out overnight to get some of the around 1,500 tickets allocated to the United support. That kind of commitment from the fans is something Ogren delights in.
“I love to see the enthusiasm of our fanbase,” he said.
“We have great fans and it is a lot of fun.
“It is unfortunate that we were not able to get more tickets to that away leg, but I guess that is just the way it works.”
It has been a little over five months since Mark Ogren was unveiled at Tannadice as the new owner and he has admitted to being more nervous during games than he had anticipated.
“I am much more nervous than I thought I would be between matches,” he said.
“It is actually easier when I’m over here witnessing everything, but when I’m back home either listening on the radio or on video I’m pacing.
“There aren’t that many games and each one of them means so much.
“I’m not used to that because back in the States the sports teams that I’ve been involved with have a lot of games and each one doesn’t necessarily mean that much, but when you get to the play-offs it certainly does.
“In this case every league game is very, very important and has implications.”
The experience of fans at Tannadice has been identified by Ogren as an area in which things could be improved. Particularly when compared to the way things are done across the Atlantic in the United States. However, the priority for Ogren is generating the kind of atmosphere seen on Friday against Inverness on a weekly basis.
“It is still early,” he said.
“If you were there on Friday night, that place was electric and I’m hoping that the fans loved that experience.
“I heard from a lot of fans when I was talking to them say they haven’t seen that kind of atmosphere in years at Tannadice, so we are hoping to continue to feed off of that and then just look for other ways to maybe enhance the fan experience.”
Three stands were all but sold out with home supporters at Tannadice last Friday. This Thursday’s first leg match against St Mirren looks to be heading in the same direction. The big support that turned out shows the undoubted potential in the Dundee United support. The chairman said that it “absolutely” underlined why he got involved with the club.
“It was a little disappointing in the middle of the year or actually not too many matches ago,” said Ogren.
“We just weren’t getting the fans coming out in the numbers that we would have expected because we were still having a good year.
“We were in second place, and sure we would have liked to win it outright, but we consider it to still be a successful year.
“The fans were holding back a little bit but now they are coming out in droves and we appreciate that.
“We really appreciate the support and we need it.
“The players have told me how important it is to them and they get a lot of inspiration from that, so it is awesome.”