Tony Watt doesn’t give a cluck if he is seen as eccentric.

The Dundee United striker insists his new feathered friends are the best thing that could have happened to him as he tries to remain high up in the strikers’ pecking order.

Watt convinced his wife to let him buy a chicken coop for their back garden and has since acquired four chickens.

His social media has been full of declarations of love for the egg-laying birds.

And he reckons they bring calm and discipline to his life off the park which is fuelling good displays on it.

Watt, reflecting on his late winning goal in Inverness on Friday evening, said: “I had a couple of eggs this morning, but I need to play better all-round.

“We have a good squad and we just keep kicking on.

“I have a run and a pen (for the chickens). I am away for quite a bit of the day and if that’s the case I keep them in the run.

“If I am there, I will let them out in the garden. I will get up about 6.30am to see them when I am training and 8 am if I am not.

“When it gets dark, I’ll put them in or if it is really dark they go in themselves.

“The only thing bothering me is that they haven’t really taken to me yet. They are not feeling it.

“That’s a bit deflating. I have been giving them the chicken feed but they are running away from me scared.

“I am loving them, though, and it is giving me a bit of discipline.

“In football, it is difficult because you get lifted and laid. You need a bit of routine and calm in your life.

“In football you don’t get your day filled and I need a bit more discipline, the older I am getting.

“They are starting to lay three or four a day. I am making omelettes.

“The boys are asking me to make cakes and, by the time I am done, I don’t have any left. It is good.

“I am loving it. I am going to video it and give people a laugh. I am just treating the chickens well and I hope they are happy and settled in their new surroundings.”

While he is enjoying home life, Watt’s United future has been the subject of repeated speculation.

With the transfer window open, though, he played down talk of his departure.

Like his chickens, the United fans have taken time to warm to him, but sang his name at the Caledonian Stadium on Friday night.

The 30 year-old said: “There is talk in every window that I can leave. It is not coming from me or the manager.

“Unless some Saudi Arabian club comes in and gives me a couple of million pounds a year then I don’t think I am going anywhere.

“I am happy here. It has taken me a bit of time to settle but I am settled here.

“Until something crazy happens then I will be part of the furniture at Dundee United.

“I am loving it and the way the fans are reacting to me. It has taken a while for me to win them over and rightly so with what is going on.

“I didn’t expect to win them over in August, but hopefully by next August I will be flavour of the month.

“I want to be a big plus in their eyes and I can’t thank them enough for the way they have taken to me.

“I didn’t expect to be loved straight away but it seems to be turning a wee bit.”

The arrival of New Zealander Alex Greive on loan from St Mirren has cranked up competition in the strike areas, and Watt stressed: “I was pestering him to come in.

“He will bring a lot. He is full of energy and is a good player. Louis Moult, Greive and myself are, without sounding arrogant, three good strikers to run with.

“We all have something different in our individual qualities and we have a lot of things which are similar but we can all do well.

“I said to Greive on the way up to Inverness that he would be surprised by the way the club supports him..

“It is a big club and everything about it is done professionally.

“Everything is in our hands. We just need to keep winning and doing our best.

“It is a bit early to look at the title. We just need to win as many games as possible.

“We have a good squad and we have brought another couple in.

“There might be others coming in, I don’t know but I do know come February 1st we will be ready to give it a good go.”