Furious Ray McKinnon has warned his Dundee United players they are killing themselves with outrageous defending.
The Tangerines boss kept his players in the away dressing-room for over 40 minutes after the final whistle in Saturday’s 4-2 defeat at Queen of the South.
It leaves his team’s slim chance of automatic promotion gone and work to be done if they are to finish in the runners-up spot that would give them one less tie in the play-offs.
With all that in mind, Ray has been in no mood to mince his words since what he described as an “unacceptable” display.
“Our defending was outrageously bad. We are killing ourselves,” was how he summed up the 90 minutes at Palmerston.
“For a 10 minute spell after we came back to 2-2 in the second half, I thought we were going to win the game. Then the horrible side of what we’ve been doing recently raised its ugly head.
“But even before 2-2 they were lacking. They were lacking drive, they were lacking spark, they were lacking being positive and getting on the front foot. I just felt they were miles off it.”
United started poorly and fell being to a Derek Lyle goal just short of the mid-point of the first half. Although Thomas Mikkelsen equalised, they were behind again, to a Stephen Dobbie strike, by the break.
Mikkelsen levelled again early in the second half but a Lyndon Dyke effort followed by a Paul Dixon own goal, both in the last 10 minutes, gave the home team a deserved win.
The result means United have not won on the road in the league since beating Ayr at Somerset Park in December.
Unless that changes, Ray knows it will be a major obstacle to his promotion hopes.
“Away from home is where you judge yourselves. At home we’re OK, we play well and we’ve got a great record.
“But when you go away from home you have to have dig and that desire, be prepared to battle. We were lacking in every one of those departments.
“That’s really disappointing because they’re a decent bunch of guys, but right from No 1 to No 11, there was nobody getting pass marks and nobody with any drive.”