Chris Porter says the arrival of Nigel Clough at Bramall Lane has been instrumental to United's recent successes.
The experienced striker is also grateful to a manager he knows well for giving him a prolonged opportunity in the first-team.
"The manager has come into the club, changed a few things and it has certainly had a positive effect," said Porter.
"Obviously at the start of the season when we were really struggling it wasn't the happiest place in the world, but now since results have picked up we are training and preparing for matches with a smile on our faces - being happy and relaxed makes a difference.
"There wasn't too much wrong under the previous manager in terms of what he had at his disposal because the squad is largely the same, so the manager and his staff, in addition to the players, deserve praise for the revival."
Clough has selected United's number nine on 12 consecutive occasions from the start since the FA Cup first round tie at Colchester and Porter is keen to build on that number by letting his performances do the talking.
The 30-year-old continued: "I am delighted to be starting matches consistently and slowly but surely my game is getting back to the level it should be.
"Any professional footballer will tell you they feel they aren't doing their job properly if they aren't playing but the Gaffer has put his faith in me and I am focused on repaying that trust.
"Nigel signed me at Derby, unfortunately injuries hampered me throughout my time there, but now he is probably seeing some of the things that attracted him to me in the first place.
"This is like a second chance for me to impress him and at the moment I am happy to be grasping it with both hands."