We won a game! We actually won a game of football! What made it even more incredible was that we fell behind and actually managed to claw our way back into the game and emerge victorious!
Lets be honest, the 3-1 win against Queen of the South was a bit of a surprise for most but hopefully it might spark a bit of life back into the league campaign with Livingston and Morton sharing a point at Cappielow. It would be great if the season actually ended up being interesting until the very end rather than it fading out into nothingness.
I wasn’t at the game in Dumfries but I did listen to the match commentary on ArabZone and despite a poor opening 20 minutes it felt like once we settled things down and started to put Queens under a bit of pressure we ended up controlling much of the match. It didn’t sound like the most exhilarating performance in the world but we did enough to get a vital 3 points on the board after such a long layoff. The big challenge now is to take advantage of the fact that our next three games are all at home and they all happen over a period of seven days. If the team can emerge from this mini-run of home fixtures with at least 7 points then it puts us back into contention for second place and the vital advantage that would give us in the playoffs.
Moving on to the game against Inverness the most exciting thing about it is not the fact that it is our first home game since the 27th of January but that it might mean a debut for Bilel Mohsni. Fans were left hanging in Dumfries as despite reports of his inclusion he did not make the squad and was simply left to sit in the stand wearing a tangerine bobble hat. If we can manage to beat Queen of the South 3-1 without him in the team can you imagine the unstoppable force we might become with him in the heart of the side (this last bit should not be taken seriously). The other exciting news is that we have finally signed a proper right-back. The arrival of Anthony Ralston from Celtic on loan should be seen as a very good piece of business. The highly rated fullback will be here until the end of the season and could become a key player for us.
A real plus against Queen of the South (and previously against Livingston) was the performance of Matty Smith. The youngster turned 21 on Tuesday night and he celebrated with a fantastic double. It is quite fitting that despite a raft of January signings (who have yet to make an impact) it was left to one of our own talents to make the difference when it mattered. Hopefully Smith can get a run of games and he can inspire some of the other younger players to push for first team places.
It wouldn’t be too much of a surprise if it ends up as pretty much the same team on Saturday but there is a bit doubt about some of the substitutes for the visit of Inverness. You would assume that it might be the same starting eleven (with the addition of Ralston). We should also see Emil Lyng, Jordie Briels and, potentially, Bilel Mohsni pushing for spots on the bench. The full squad will need to be used over the coming weeks but I think you can expect a similar team for at least the first few fixtures in this chaotic schedule.
My predicted team for tomorrow –
GK – Harry Lewis
RB – Anthony Ralston
CB – Mark Durnan
CB – Tam Scobbie
LB – Jamie Robson
CM – Paul Quinn
CM – Willo Flood
RM – Matty Smith
CAM – Sam Stanton
LM – Billy King
ST – Thomas Mikkelsen
Subs – Deniz Mehmet, Scott McDonald, Emil Lyng, Paul McMullan, Bilel Mohsni, Craig Slater, William Edjenguele.
Key Player – Matty Smith – It was incredibly refreshing to see a young United player make the difference on Tuesday night. One thing we have missed in the last 18 months or so is the emergence of any genuine talent from the Development side. With Matty smith now 21 years old he should be at an age where he can begin to stake a claim for a starting jersey. He is a physical and confident player who could be the surprise success story of the season if he continues to play as well as he has been.