Saturday’s defeat for Dundee United showed the players need a bit of a breather – luckily for them they’ve got one this weekend.
United fans would probably want a match to go to on Saturday but a rest weekend is just what the doctor ordered for Robbie Neilson and his men.
What they’ve done this season already is a massive achievement and the day was always coming closer that they’d be punished for an off-day.
That happened against Arbroath at Tannadice (see video above).
There had been warning signs from the Red Lichties on their previous matches there – a 0-0 draw in the Challenge Cup and then leading 1-0 going into stoppage time before losing 2-1 in the league.
Their gameplan obviously was effective and they stuck with it to good effect this time around.
The difference on Saturday was United didn’t have enough about them to get a result.
For me, that’s most likely a sign of fatigue, and possibly a wee bit of complacency.
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It’s really difficult to avoid the latter, particularly when suffering from tiredness.
There’s also the build up of injuries.
Nicky Clark is out for the rest of the season. His replacement Osman Sow was stretchered off on Saturday. Unfortunately, it sounds like he’ll sit out the rest of the campaign as well.
But it’s a sign of the quality they have in their squad that Clark and Sow can be missing and you still have a striker of the calibre of Lawrence Shankland to lead the line.
Sow being out leaves a great chance for youngsters like Declan Glass and Chris Mochrie to show what they can do in the No 10 position.
It’s unfortanute for people to get injured but also a great chance for some of United’s youngsters to impress.
On top of Sow’s injury, Paul McMullan, Louis Appere and Calum Butcher have been carrying injuries recently, too.
This week is an ideal time to give the players a bit of a break and recharge the batteries for the run-in.
The Tangerines want to get that title wrapped up as soon as possible but this breather couldn’t have been better timed.
Once again, other teams weren’t really able to make up any ground on the runaway leaders – Inverness clawed one point back at home to Alloa.
United are the only team that have managed any sort of consistency this season – a wee break is just what they need to get going again.