Micky Mellon has revealed Benjamin Siegrist is ‘upset’ and ‘disappointed’ about Richard Foster’s bizarre comments on his wrist injury.
As back-up keeper Deniz Mehmet prepared to take his place between the sticks half an hour before kick-off, Foster, working as a pundit for BBC Scotland’s live coverage of the match, said he hoped Siegrist had “broken his wrist or his hand”.
The comments prompted outrage online from the Terrors support, with one fan branding Foster “a clown”.
Tannadice gaffer Mellon has had his say on the Partick Thistle defender’s statement as he revealed Swiss stopper Siegrist will miss Wednesday night’s Premiership trip to Kilmarnock.
‘I have to say on behalf of my keeper, who has enormous integrity, that he was very disappointed to hear those comments from a fellow-pro’
“I heard about Richard Foster’s comments and I know Benji is upset about it,” he said.
“Only Richard will be able to explain what he meant by it but I know I’ve got a good, honest pro disappointed by the comments.
“You would have to ask Richard Foster and the BBC more about it.
“Would I expect him to get an apology? I don’t know, that’s for the BBC and Richard Foster because we don’t want to make too much of it.
“I have to say on behalf of my keeper, who has enormous integrity, that he was very disappointed to hear those comments from a fellow-pro.
“You’d need to ask him why he said it, but, generally, people think it was a strange thing to say.
“Benji’s a great big fella, he’s been brilliant for us.”
Shedding more light on the 29-year-old’s injury, Mellon continued: “Benji hasn’t broken his wrist but he’s going to have to go for a scan because it’s still very swollen and he’s in a lot of pain.
“He won’t play on Wednesday, he has no chance.
“It’s a bit more mobile but there is a lot of swelling on it so we have to take it a day at a time.”
Deniz to keep the gloves for Killie road trip
With the Tangerines’ No 1 out, Deniz will get the gloves once more and Mellon is backing the 28-year-old to come in and do a job for the team in Ayrshire.
He added: “Deniz came in (at Forfar), he’s a good goalkeeper and replaced Benji calmly and seamlessly.
“He did a steady job with no drama or fuss. He didn’t have much to do but he’s a very capable goalkeeper.
“We are blessed with two very good goalkeepers and Deniz will move ahead with that now.
“We’re a bit short now, obviously, but we’ll see how that goes.”
Momentum vital for Tangerines moving forward says boss
With a Scottish Cup quarter-final against Aberdeen on the horizon, at Pittodrie on Sunday, and United sitting safely in seventh spot, Mellon would be forgiven for ringing the changes at Rugby Park.
However, he insists, Deniz aside, it will be a very familiar starting XI that head for second-bottom Killie in midweek as they target “another valuable three points”.
“We need to be careful because we will not, in any way, do anything that will go against the integrity of the league,” Mellon stated.
“We know how important the result is for everyone concerned in it.
“So we’ll be putting out a team we think is capable of getting us a result down there.
“I’ll be expecting them to try to get the three points, it’s important to say that.
“We have a squad of players here I trust and, yes, we have another important game on Sunday, but I can assure everyone we’ll be putting out a team I believe can get the three points.
“We’re trying to keep the momentum of the club going forward.
“We’re looking forward to going down and battling for another valuable three points.
“We’ll go and attack that.”
They’re not plastic fantastic but United better on 4G
The Tangerines are on a six-game unbeaten run in all competitions, with the last two coming on a 4G surface – at Forfar in the cup and Hamilton in the league.
Winning on Astroturf is something, historically, United have struggled to do.
Although he doesn’t agree that they’re “flying” on plastic, manager Mellon is happy to see his side turn a corner on that front as they head for Killie’s Rugby Park pitch.
He laughed: “I don’t know about flying!
“It will be nice to get back on grass eventually but we are certainly getting used to the different types of Astroturf.
“We have been trying them all out lately but we’re just cracking on and looking forward to it.
“It will be a good game, a tough game because Kilmarnock, like us, will be fighting very hard for the points.”