Dundee United hoping for squad boost with return of Mark Durnan

Mark Durnan could see a return to action this weekend

Dundee United will be hoping for at least one fitness boost, possibly two, when they try to get their season back on track at Dunfermline on Saturday.

With an injury list that includes Fraser Fyvie, Scott Fraser, William Edjenguele, Lewis Toshney and Jordie Briels, good news on that front has been in short supply recently.

Manager Csaba Laszlo, though, could have key defender Mark Durnan back in his starting line-up at East End Park.

Durnan, arguably the Tangerines’ most consistent defender this term, limped off at half-time against Brechin last week with a swollen ankle.

He was expected to recover in time to face Falkirk on Saturday, but instead watched the 6-1 hammering as an unused sub.

Having been close to making the team then, United believe he will be able to resume his normal role at East End Park.

And there is a chance he will be joined by Stewart Murdoch.

The 27-year-old has missed the last four games because of a groin problem picked up in training.

One issue with the right-back could be the fact he’s not seen action for a month now.

Given the defensive display against the Bairns, however, if he’s fit he will be considered for a place against the Pars.

United will still be without winger Paul McMullan whose sending off against Brechin earned a two-match ban courtesy of him already being red carded this season.

Whoever is available, the gaffer has made it clear he expects a far more committed performance than he got last Saturday.

On top of his dismay at the repeated mistakes his players made, Csaba was not happy with what he felt was a lack of fight.

While he does not want his team to be kicking opponents, he did feel the lack of bookings against the Bairns — young sub Matty Smith picked up the only one for a late foul — was a clear indication the performance was soft.

“There was no aggressiveness there,” he said.

“I don’t mean there should be fouls, but you have to be aggressive, you must tackle.”

Tickets for Saturday’s game are available from the club shop at Tannadice, as are briefs for the Scottish Cup visit to Alloa a week later.