Dundee United’s experienced defender Mark Reynolds revealed that players were told to speak up if they didn’t feel up to resurrecting the title challenge following the Partick Thistle defeat which preceded their three-match winning run.
Three victories have come for United when it felt like the title race was over and the pressure was off. Now that the gap has been closed to just two points the pressure can only be expected to return.
Reynolds himself says he is looking for that pressure to return, but also revealed that the squad had an honest conversation about what would be required to resurrect the title challenge and called for players to speak up if they didn’t feel up to it.
“That was always the hope,” he said of the pressure returning.
“Certainly, I came here because I felt as though they still had a good chance of going up.
“We still had a good chance that there was going to be a big run-in and there was going to be pressure games.
“We spoke after the Partick Thistle game and said if we want to do anything we need to start getting results.
“We need to either start grinding them out by hook or by crook and getting the three points.
“If we do that then every game is going to get bigger and the pressure is going to increase right to the end of the season and if you’re not comfortable with that then you need to speak up now because you can’t play.
“We want to win all the games and we want to put on as much pressure as we can.”
Queen of the South
The on-loan 31-year-old defender knows Queen of the South manager Gary Naysmith well from their time at Aberdeen and Reynolds is expecting a tough, physical tie this Saturday that will require United to start the game well.
“I think it is going to be a difficult game,” he said.
“They have obviously got good players and they have a good striker who scores goals.
“I played with Gary Naysmith at Aberdeen, he is a great guy.
“He is a football man and he knows football inside-out, he will have his players working hard and they will know exactly what they want to do against us.
“I think every game in the league is tough and I think from top to bottom every team can beat anybody on their day, so we will expect a tough affair.
“It is always physical, it is always competitive so if we don’t start on the front foot and try to dictate the game and play the way we want to play then we can be in bother.”
United have closed the gap to just two points between themselves and league leaders Ross County who have games in hand. Reynolds understands that some might be tempted to look at what other sides are doing, but for him that’s for others to think about. He is keeping his focus where it needs to be.
“It is hard to speak for the squad but certainly I am perfectly comfortable doing that,” he said.
“I think there’s a lot of boys there that have been in that position before and I think that if you’ve got enough of the boys doing that then it creates a general feeling that the rest can get confidence from.
“We can only affect what we can do, we can only affect the games we are going to play in.
“Sitting and worrying about ifs and buts is you guys’ (media) job and the supporters’ job, we just go out and focus on getting three points and that is pretty much as far as it goes for us.”