Dundee United boss Micky Mellon is itching to lead his side into battle at Ross County today but doesn’t believe the match is of any added importance.
With the likes of Rangers, Celtic, Aberdeen and Livingston all to face before the split, this afternoon’s meeting in Dingwall has a ‘must-win’ feel for the Tangerines.
However, Mellon disagrees with that notion, insisting their focus is always on winning every game they take part in.
“I think they’re all important,” he said.
“I’ve never isolated any game and said it’s any more important than any other.
“Every day is important to try to get better than the day before. It’s as simple as that.
“They’ve trained well this week and we’ll go and attack this game to try to get the three points.
“I can’t wait to play. I love football and can’t wait to go up there and face the challenge.
“I will speak to our players and make sure I tell them all the necessaries that they need – mentality, organisation, where I want us to try to get the ball to when we can, how we’ll press, set plays.
“We’ll be ready for the challenge.
“We’ll go in and attack the game. We want to win the game, score goals and keep a clean sheet, we’re going to try to be good at all that.”
United seeking a 90-minute performance
Mellon admits his team are disappointed and frustrated at their current poor stretch but is hopeful, after digesting the ’Well loss, they can produce a 90-minute performance in the Highlands.
“We have a lot of meetings because we’re developing a group of players,” he added.
“They know exactly how I feel. My job at Dundee United has never changed and the job at Dundee United – regardless of squeaking and squawking and saying they want this and that – the facts are it’s a developing group.
“Everyone can be saying we should be doing this and that. But my focus is completely on what’s it’s always been and that’s to get a group of players consistently playing at the asks of a Premiership football team.
“I look at the games to see the evidence of where we’re up to. I want to win every game and I look at what I believe they need to get better at individually or collectively whether that be mentality, technique and we work hard and try to put it all together.
“That is what the job at Dundee United is and people will say: ‘When Micky?’
“It will be when you look at us play and say: ‘Dundee United played really well for 90 minutes today and won’.
“That is the moment I’m working towards.”
Connolly out as Tangerines look to bounce back
Mellon is expecting a reaction from his side this afternoon and hopes the Terrors have learned their lessons from midweek.
He continued: “One of the things they’re going to have to learn is when the game changes and it’s asking you a question you have to adapt.
“That’s what football’s all about. You never play the game you want to play in your dreams – top clubs and players will tell you that.
“You have to answer the asks and when the game changed after 20 minutes we have to learn as a group to attack the asks, even if it’s not what we believe we would like to do on a cold, rainy evening in Motherwell.
“You’ve got to go and say: ‘Well, yeah, it’s a set play let’s go and be good at that, we’re going to have to dig in and be compact and resilient’.
“We have to show all those kind of qualities until we can come out of it.
“That’s something we spoke about at half time and, in our defence, we came out in the second half and had something like 65-70% possession trying to play forward when we could.
“That’s all part of their development as footballers.”
Mark Connolly will miss the trip to take on John Hughes’ men as he attends to a personal matter.
Jeando Fuchs (knee) should make it despite taking a knock in Lanarkshire. United’s only absentees are long-term ones in Logan Chalmers (ankle) and Declan Glass (ACL).