Dundee United must turn things around now says defender Murdoch

Dundee United defender Stewart Murdoch in the thick of the action against Morton at Tannadice on Saturday. The full-back admits the performance was unacceptable.

If there is a crumb of comfort, and it is no more than that, to be taken from Dundee United’s January slump, it’s that no one in the Tannadice dressing-room is making excuses.

United have been hit hard by injuries and this month has seen them have to try to bed in new players.

For all that, the only word to describe catastrophic defeats like those against Falkirk and Morton is unacceptable.

When fit-again defender Stewart Murdoch looks at a miserable run that’s seen his team drop 11 points off the pace in the promotion race, it’s the description he uses.

And he’s pledging every single player is busting a gut to make sure things are turned round.

“We were in the dressing-room for an hour after the final whistle on Saturday having a chat about it because it was unacceptable, for us as a team and in terms of representing the club,” he said.

Stewart Murdoch

“We can’t have that, it’s that simple. Everybody was sitting there disappointed but what we have to do is turn things round quickly.

“There is nobody in the dressing-room thinking that’s acceptable.”

Murdoch, who returned to the starting line-up against Morton for the first time in nearly two months after recovering from a hip injury, admits there’s massive frustration over the situation.

When he went out injured in early December, United were flying and had the look of a team capable of opening up a sizeable gap at the top, not succumbing to one.

“It is so frustrating,” he added.

“We went in one down at half-time against Morton, then came out for the second half and straight away we’re hit with a sucker punch with a 25-yarder.

“Then we lose a third but, even if you took the goals out of the game, it was not a good performance, nothing about it was acceptable. To think of the heights we’ve reached at times this season, to then put in a performance like that is so frustrating and it’s up to us to do something about it.

“We are trying to find out why that can happen. We know we have to, and quickly.

“Although fans might not think it when we see how we played on the pitch, and I understand why, everyone is trying. We’ll work hard to put this right.”

If they are to go up, it’s now a near certainty United will have to do so via the play-offs, but Murdoch has assured the fans the pursuit of St Mirren will continue so long as it’s mathematically possible for them to be caught.

“We will keep fighting, we have to. It’s important because until the last day of the season it won’t be over.

“We have to make sure we turn things round and hope that St Mirren go through a spell like the one we have.

“If they do, we have to make sure we are back winning games and make the most of it.

“They have not been as unfortunate as us with injuries, they seem to be ploughing on and are getting results but, as we’ve seen, things can change quickly.

“It’s not in our control now but we have to be putting wins together first and see what happens.”

For all that, Murdoch is at a loss to explain how such a dramatic fall from grace has come about.

He admits it was something he just did not see coming.

“The conversation we’re having is why things can go like this. The first six games after the manager came in we were brilliant and it was all going well.

“We were flying and playing some of the nicest football since I came to the club.”