Henri Anier insists he’s on a mission to rescue Dundee United after manager Mixu Paatelainen breathed new life into his Tannadice career.
The Estonian striker is enjoying a hot scoring streak for the Premiership’s bottom club who are seeking to boost their survival hopes by beating city rivals Dundee at Tannadice today.
Anier, 25, right, is thriving under the guidance of Paatelainen who recalled him from a loan spell at Hibs in January. He admits feeling wanted again by his manager has been the key to his recent resurgence which has seen him score three goals in his last two games.
“It’s always important for every player that the manager believes in you,” said Anier, who was signed for United by former boss Jackie McNamara and then farmed out to Hibs. “I have been feeling good for the last few months and I am happy now that he believes in me and I try to do my best to help the team and the club.
“Our language is quite similar. Estonian and Finnish sound quite similar, but we don’t exactly understand each other when he speaks. When I lived there a little bit, for a month maybe, I could understand totally everything.
“They are similar languages. Both from kind of Scandinavia, the same area and the relationship is good.
“All the coaches, all the players, at the moment we are where we are in the club, we know everybody fights as one team and we work together.
“At the start last year when I signed, I wasn’t that fit and you know football has ups and downs, but at the moment I have been feeling very good and the fans backing in the last few games and throughout the season has been amazing.
“Sunday is a massive game and I am sure everybody is backing us from the fans’ side.”
Anier’s form has earned him an international recall for Estonia’s forthcoming double-header with Norway and Serbia.
United are still searching for their first derby win this season having drawn the first encounter 2-2 in August, before losing 2-1 at Dens Park in early January.