Robbie Neilson planning to trim Dundee United squad over coming weeks

Robbie Neilson.
Robbie Neilson.

Dundee United boss Robbie Neilson is set to trim his squad over the next few weeks – because he appreciates players want to play.

The Tangerines have used close to 30 players in their pre-season games and, while Robbie would happily keep most of them for the season ahead, he knows keeping them all content may not be possible.

And that means he’s unlikely to stand in the way of fringe men who want to seek regular football elsewhere.

Following the departures of midfielders Adam Barton and Christoph Rabitsch, Robbie said: “There are one or two who’ll have to move on, not because we need to do it, but because guys need to play football.

“So I would think some will move on at some point in the next while.”

The gaffer is also determined there will be room for some of the kids who have impressed in pre-season to be involved.

He added: “We’re looking to have a tight squad and give our youngsters a chance. We’ve got the likes of Scott Banks, Logan Chalmers and Chris Mochrie.

“And Louis Appere has come in and done fantastically well in pre-season. The pathway is important for young players.

“One or two will go out on loan but we’ll definitely keep a few in the squad. I feel we’ve got good enough senior players to carry the young boys, help them through.

“Appere is the one who has caught the eye with his goals but Mochrie and Banks have been great in training and the games.”

One player not going anywhere is Osman Sow. The Swede has had a difficult time with injury since joining up from MK Dons in January and is a minor doubt for Friday’s Betfred Cup opener at Hearts because of a calf strain but Robbie has backed him to get goals in the second tier.

“We’re hoping he’ll be back training with us in a couple of days. He’s had a great pre-season but he felt it a wee bit and, with the issues he had last season, we thought it was best to take him out for a day or two.

“And Osman is definitely not one we want to move on. For me he’s a top striker. He found it difficult to get his full fitness last season but we knew that would be the case.

“He’s come through pre-season with this wee precautionary thing and he’ll score goals in the Championship.”