James Keatings will lead line for Dundee United against Falkirk

James Keatings in action for Dundee United

Attacker James Keatings looks to have played his way back into the Dundee United starting line-up after grabbing his second goal inside a week.

Keatings has been rested for the past month because of problems stemming from the ankle ligaments he damaged in the Betfred Cup at Buckie Thistle in July.

But he came off the bench late in Saturday’s clash with Dumbarton to snatch a point for the Tangerines with a spectacular free-kick.

And he was on the mark again last night as he struck the winner when the Development League side broke their duck for the season at Kilmarnock.

More importantly he got a full 90 minutes under his belt and that should put him in line for a place when United look to get back to winning ways in the Championship at Falkirk on Saturday.

Since it was announced back in May he would be joining up from Hibs under freedom of contract, boss Ray McKinnon has made no secret of the fact he believes the 25-year-old can develop into one of the most important players at Tannadice.

And he’s hoping the man who’s been promoted from the Championship with three different clubs can now kick on and put his fitness frustrations behind.

“It was good to see him get an important goal against Dumbarton and I think now he’s over the ankle injury he can kick on,” said Ray.

With Patrick N’Koyi also over injury problems, it gives Ray the chance to go with his preferred option of using two up front in most games.

He believes being unable to do that has been one reason behind the stuttering performance in the early weeks of the campaign.

“Would I like to have two strikers up front every week? Of course I would.

Hopefully now I have that option and these players can start gelling.”

Keatings was not the only top-team man who got game time last night. Club captain Willo Flood, Mark Durnan, Lewis Toshney and Scott Fraser all played.

William Edjenguele, Patrick N’Koyi, Billy King and Jordie Briels have all been nursing knocks picked up at the weekend, though their condition is not causing concern.

“They’ve not been training with the squad but none of them has anything serious and we’re sure they will be fine for Falkirk,” explained Ray.