Dundee United defender Mark Connolly thinks they have made life more difficult for themselves in their bid for promotion from the Championship but insists they won’t give up the fight.
The 27-year-old centre-half was scathing in his assessment of their performance in Saturday’s 2-1 loss at Partick Thistle which saw the Tangerines fall further behind Ross County in the race for the Championship title.
A late winner from Aidan Fitzpatrick rendered Nicky Clark’s 76th-minute free-kick equaliser pointless after former Terror Scott McDonald had given the Jags an early lead.
After County’s 2-1 win over Falkirk on Tuesday night in their game in hand, United are now 11 behind County in the second-tier championship push, with the promotion play-offs now looking a more likely route if they are to go up.
The Staggies are also in action on Friday night in a Highland derby against Inverness Caley Thistle before United travel to face Dunfermline on the Saturday.
Regardless of those clashes for the Dingwall side, Irish centre-back Connolly insists they need to keep winning and fighting until the title is no longer a mathematical possibility for United.
“It’s not over yet, we’ve still to play Ross County twice and there’s still nine games to go so you never know what can happen,” he said.
“It’s definitely made it a lot more difficult.
“We’ve come into a situation where we’ve had to win every single game and, unfortunately, we haven’t done that.
“We’ve got nine games to go and we’ll keep going till the end.
“It’s difficult. We knew what we had to do, especially the new boys that have come in, and the rest of lads, we knew it was going to be difficult and it’s made it a lot more difficult now.
“Whatever happens during the week happens, we just need to focus on ourselves and Dunfermline on Saturday.
“We’ve got to go again and try to win every game till the end of the season and see what happens.”
Dundee United have placed third in their last two seasons in the Championship and, although it wouldn’t be ideal, a second-place finish would set them up for an easier ride in the play-offs, which have tormented them in the lower leagues so far.
However, former Kilmarnock and St Johnstone man Connolly is only focusing on the here and now.
That starts by doing what they didn’t do in Glasgow and taking their chances at East End Park on Saturday and, hopefully, fighting back at the top of the table.
He added: “It’s difficult and it’s been frustrating but all we can do is not worry about what’s happened before but worry about what’s happening now.
“It has been difficult the last few years but we’ve come in to a difficult situation as well and we have to stay positive and keep going till the end.
“We’ve just got to kill teams off, we weren’t good enough on Saturday at times but at other times we’ve created so many chances that we’ve got to take.
“We could’ve ended up winning the game in the second half but, unfortunately, recently we haven’t been taking our chances and made it hard for ourselves.
“We’re bitterly disappointed and there’s not much more we can say than that.”