“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” – Martin Luther King.
When is hope a bad thing? When Dundee United are involved. The St.Mirren scoreline from last Saturday has at least managed to stir up a little bit of interest in a season that looked like ending in inevitable disappointment. Don’t get me wrong, it probably still will, but it does make the next 3 games a bit more interesting.
Part of me has really enjoyed the relaxed last couple of weekends without league football to worry about but Dundee United now have three games in a week starting with the visit to Livingston on Friday. We play Queen of the South next Tuesday and then St.Mirren in an all or nothing game at Tannadice live on BT Sport. By the time we face the Buddies it could be either a case of a miracle being possible or it could provide the final nail in the title coffin. The other added intrigue to this mix is that Livingston themselves will have genuine hope of having a say in this title race. They come in to Friday’s game in great form and will be very confident of taking points from United. Their fantastic result against St.Mirren proves that they are a genuinely good team who work incredibly hard for one another and are very difficult to beat. The Livingston side are the complete opposite to the United one in that they are strong, physical, well organised and know how to grind out results.
We are all hoping that a break from league duties has revitalised Csaba Laszlo’s squad. Additional work on the training ground has eased some injury worries which means we at least have more flexibility in the team selection. Now is the time for United to step up to the plate and have a right good go. You would hope that they must be able to motivate themselves for this incredibly important run of fixtures.
The squad news is, as I mentioned, a little bit more positive and we should see the return of either Paul Quinn, Tam Scobbie or William Edjenguele. There may also be a place in the squad for Jordie Briels but the likelihood is that the game on Friday probably comes a little too soon for him. Personally I would like to see one or two changes and maybe a change of shape but Csaba Laszlo may disagree! I think that Harry Lewis needs a rest and that we should be giving Deniz Mehmet an opportunity. Hopefully Tam Scobbie is fit enough to play because he is probably the best option we have to play alongside Mark Durnan. Ideally Grant Gillespie should be moved into central midfield and it would be good to start with two out-and-out strikers. With Livingston playing a more structured brand of football I wonder if we might start with two target men upfront in order to counter their physical presence.
My team against Livingston would be –
GK – Deniz Mehmet
RB – Stewart Murdoch
CB – Mark Durnan
CB – Tam Scobbie
LB – Jamie Robson
RM – Paul McMullan
CM – Grant Gillespie
CM – Sam Stanton
LM – Billy King
ST – Thomas Mikkelsen
ST – Scott McDonald
Subs – Harry Lewis, Cammy Ballantyne, Willo Flood, Craig Slater, Paul Quinn, Emil Lyng, Matty Smith.
Key Player – Scott McDonald – I’ve been very critical of McDonald and I still don’t really trust him. There have been some rumours of a falling out between the management and the veteran striker so maybe Friday is an opportunity for him to prove his worth. He can still be a match winner on his day.