Football! Remember when we used to go and see United play football? It seems like we might finally get a chance to experience this once again as United travel to Brechin in this season’s big derby. With an astonishing amount of postponements now leaving United with 73 games to play in 3 weeks it will be a miracle if we have enough energy left at the end of the league campaign for playoff football.
Off the park the big news in the last two weeks has undoubtedly been the boardroom shuffle and resignation of Stephen Thompson. This week has seen new chairman Mike Martin meet the press, the players and the staff. He is insisting that fans must judge him on his actions and he believes that the atmosphere at the club has been lifted since his appointment. He has promised many, many changes and has started that process with the announcement of Paul Sturrock returning to the Dundee United, this time as Chief Scout for England. Apparently Sturrock has already named one possible target for Laszlo to look at (and if media reports are true it is former Rangers defender Bilel Mohsni). The raft of changes are set to continue and we may even see announcements in the coming days regarding recruitment changes, youth development changes and logistical alterations.
Currently the playing squad has only four injuries to deal with and of those four only one will be back in any sort of action before the end of the season so Laszlo now knows what he has to work with. It was revealed this week that Scott Fraser has returned to training and may feature in the coming matches. This means that Csaba Laszlo has pretty much a full compliment to choose from. His job at the club has been given the vote of confidence by Mike Martin so he can now look forward to planning our assault on the playoffs.
Brechin will undoubtedly give United a very tough game and having seen them a few times this year it will be the case that they will sit in and look to hit on the break. They are willing to throw bodies on the line and are happy to defend so the United players will need to be patient with the ball. Given the break of a couple of weeks and the importance of this fixture I would assume that Laszlo will stick to a fairly tried and tested side (even though it is one that has not yielded results in recent weeks). Personally I would still like to see some changes and an alteration in shape but I think Laszlo is quite stubborn with his system so with that in mind I predict the following lineup to face Brechin –
GK – Harry Lewis
RB – Stewart Murdoch
CB – Mark Durnan
CB – Tam Scobbie
LB – Jamie Robson
CM – Grant Gillespie
CM – Willo Flood
RM – Paul McMullan
CAM – Sam Stanton
LM – Billy King
ST – Scott McDonald
Subs – Deniz Mehmet, Thomas Mikkelsen, Emil Lyng, Matty Smith, Paul Quinn, Craig Slater, William Edjenguele.
Key Player – Everyone – I’ve written this a few times now. The responsibility is on ALL of the players to step up to the mark. They have met the chairman and the board this week so were told by them about the importance of playing for Dundee United and what it should mean to them. Not all of them will have listened and many of the players are simply passing through as they see out another contract but for those with a bit of professional pride they need to show the supporters they are up for whatever it takes to at least make a good go of things in the remaining fixtures.