Dundee United boss Micky Mellon says they will first look “inside the building” to fill the gaps in their squad for next season.
United yesterday confirmed first-team men Dillon Powers, Adam King and Paul McMullan – who will now be free to sign on permanently at Dundee – will leave the club in the summer.
With those players’ deals coming to an end, Mellon says he will look to the Tangerines’ youth academy for the answers moving forward.
The Terrors’ young team did enough against Motherwell in midweek to suggest they can be called upon in future.
‘Hopefully they can get in this Dundee United team on a regular basis’
“We would give the players inside the building the chance first,” he said.
“We have been trying to learn where this group is up to.
“I watch with my eyes and not my ears. The other night it was exciting.
“I would want everybody connected with Dundee United to be excited that we want to give these young players a go.
“We want to build on our own, to coach and nurture our own.
“We think it is the best way for us to sustain a challenge against opposition that clearly have more ability to buy players at different ends of their careers to us.
“We don’t bleat about that but that is the gap we are trying to make up.
“We believe it is the right way to do it.
“We have some really talented boys here and now what we need to add is a bit of experience, resilience, mentality and consistency for the next part of their journey.
“Hopefully they can get in this Dundee United team on a regular basis and they can drive us on to be the team we all want to see.”
Youths will get chances when they’re ready pledges Mellon
Mellon took the opportunity to have a look at kids like Logan Chalmers, Louis Appere, Archie Meekison and Kerr Smith in their 2-2 draw with the ‘Well on Wednesday night.
He was impressed with what he saw and is likely to give them a run-out again as the Terrors head for Paisley tomorrow for a campaign-closing clash with St Mirren.
Mellon added: “I am delighted for them and that is what we are trying to achieve here – to organically grow our own group from the academy.
“When we think they are ready then we will put them in.
“The important thing is when we put them in they have to show they will give us a good chance of winning games.
“It has been really positive to get them in and to show what they are capable of against Motherwell.
“They came out of it with great credit.”
Seventh spot is still in Terrors’ sights
Above all, though, the focus is still on picking up three points against the Buddies as United aim to finish seventh in the Premiership standings come full-time tomorrow afternoon.
“Yeah, of course,” Mellon said when asked if they’ll be pushing to finish as well as they can.
“It is always important you try to do that.
“We definitely want to try to achieve that.
“It is another important game for a whole host of reasons. It’s another for us in our development as a football club.
“It gives us the opportunity to establish ourselves at this level again.”