Dundee United stand-in captain Paul Paton has won the Ladbrokes Premiership Player of the Month award for February after putting in some fine performances for The Tangerines.
Paton, who has just returned from long-term injury, has proved to be a revelation for United in their bid to beat the drop.
The midfielder scored a thunderbolt against Hearts to steal all three points against the Jambos on February 20 and then opened the scoring a week later in a 3-0 rout of Ross County at Dingwall.
United remain rooted to the bottom of the Scottish Premiership, eight points adrift from their closest rivals Kilmarnock.
However, the Terrors have a game in hand over the Ayrshire side and have begun to find some form in recent weeks.
Wednesday night’s defeat to Premiership title chasers Aberdeen aside, Paton has been like a new signing for United after his return to action at the beginning of January this year.
His manager Mixu Paatelainen labelled him ‘an absolute man mountain’ and teammate Billy McKay believes the return of Paton can steer his side to safety.
But Paton himself was modest in his acceptance of the award, admitting it was nice to win but nicer for his club to pick up valuable points.
He told Ladbrokes’ Mark Hendry: “I won one last year but I didn’t expect it then and I certainly didn’t expect it now. It’s always nice (to win awards) but obviously the most important thing is that it was a good month for the club.
“We feel as if we’re in good form, Wednesday night aside. We were playing a top side so we won’t get too down about that.
“We’ve got a lot of big games coming up, we’re still positive and confident and we’ll take that into our upcoming games.”
The 28-year old Northern Ireland international also maintains that confidence has never wavered in the dressing room at Tannadice and that his side have their sights set on clawing themselves back from the brink.
“Confidence has always been high. Ever since the new management team came in they’ve been great and they have kept confidence high” he added.
“Obviously we’ve not been getting the results we’ve wanted earlier in the season but we’ve picked up now and what’s happened has happened in the past. We just now need to look to the future and make it a positive one.”
United are still 2/7 favourites to finish bottom of the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership but with Paton’s side finally beginning to hit some form, you could be forgiven for betting on them to beat the drop.
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