Inverness Caley call-off buys Dundee United time for team to gel

Emil Lyng

Given the recent upheaval down Tannadice way, the postponement of Saturday’s match at Inverness was, perhaps, a blessing in disguise for Dundee United.

Besides call-offs, the winter has seen heavy losses to Falkirk and Morton, injuries to key players Fraser Fyvie and Scott Fraser and the news chairman Stephen Thompson will be stepping aside at the season’s end.

Prior to Saturday’s fixtures, Championship rivals St Mirren were 11 points clear at the top of the table.

A 2-0 win over Queen of the South in Paisley saw the Buddies stretch their lead to 14.

However, if there is to be one silver lining to take from clouds which have dogged the Terrors’ weekend, it’s that boss Csaba Laszlo has bought himself some time to turn the tide and gel his new-look squad together.

January saw the Tangerines bring in five new faces to the first-team squad, with French youngsters Idriss Kadded and Logan Martin also added to the development side.

With the window slamming shut last Wednesday, the Tele tonight takes a look at United’s business and asks will it be enough to close the gap at the top?

Craig Slater

Craig Slater was manager Csaba Laszlo’s first signing for the club.

Csaba’s first move of the winter window was to bring in the ex- Kilmarnock man on loan from Colchester United.

The 23-year-old midfielder has Premiership experience with the Ayrshire club and was seen as an ideal replacement for the crocked Fyvie.

So far, Slater has made four appearances in tangerine without having much of an impact.

However, the former Scotland youth international has the pedigree and quality to turn it round and be a key player for United in the middle of the park.

Brandon Mason

Brandon Mason

Brought in on loan from Watford, 20-year-old Mason has not started since making his debut at right-back in the 6-1 January loss to Falkirk.

Naturally a left-sided defender, it would be harsh to judge him on what was a car crash of a day for United.

With Stewart Murdoch returning from injury and Jamie Robson cemented in the left-back slot, it looks like Mason’s contribution for the rest of the season may simply be making up the numbers.

Emil Lyng

The Arabs will be hoping the 28-year-old Danish forward, signed from Icelandic outfit KA, can be the goal threat they have so desperately been searching for.

Too often this season the Terrors have relied on an aging Scott McDonald and the now injured Fraser to provide an attacking spark.

At 6ft 3in, the former Lille man offers a different option for Laszlo’s men and scored on his second start for the club in a 2-0 Scottish Cup win at Alloa Athletic.

Thomas Mikkelsen

Thomas Mikkelsen

Lyng could form a deadly Danish duo with returning striker Mikkelsen.

Arriving on loan from Premiership Ross County, the Dane made his second debut after scoring eight goals in 25 appearances in his first spell at the club last season. He can add a focal point to their attack.

Grant Gillespie

Grant Gillespie in action for Hamilton against United.

The ex-Hamilton man is Csaba’s most recent acquisition and is yet to make an appearance for the Tangerines.

At 26, Gillespie is a good age and has over 200 senior appearances under his belt for Accies.

His combative style should lend itself well to the second tier.