It is do or die for Jackie McNamara today in Dundee United’s trip to Ross County. With only one win out of the five league games so far this season, the United fans are already riffling through their kitchen drawers for that dreaded knife to get ready for McNamara’s chop.
Are United going through a crisis? Is it a lack of confidence alleged by McNamara? Whatever the reason if United do not secure all three points in today’s trip to Dingwall then chairman Stephen Thompson will have a decision to make over McNamara’s future.
They were hammered 4-0 by Hamilton Accies – who were the bookies favourites for relegation at the start of the season – and a 3-1 defeat to Celtic last week, saw United concede seven goals and a measly four points on the table thanks to their solitary 2-1 win over Motherwell and a 2-2 draw with Dundee.
Implying that today’s match could be the end of McNamara may sound harsh, but United have only won four or their last 22 competitive games, and that is abysmal in anyone’s eyes. The players have to hold their hands up in terms of their performances, but ultimately the manager is the one who carries the can – and is far easier to sack than a full team of underperforming players.
Could new signing Billy McKay prove the catalyst for a United revival? Only time will tell.
In comparison, Ross County are sitting pretty in the top six after five games on seven points. They have lost two of their five games this season – against Hearts and Celtic – but compared to last season’s start of seven league defeats in a row, County fans are hoping that there will be no relegation battle this year.
If both teams play to their potential then it should be a great game. It will be a hard fought tie again, but only one side or an a crest of a wave, while the other is close to sinking. Morale plays a major part in proceedings also and that could prove to be the case in this game also.
Right back Richard Foster returned to the matchday squad in midweek after recovering from a hamstring injury and could be in contention for a starting berth today.
Billy McKay could make his debut for Jackie McNamara’s side who desperate for all three points and they will hope that the former Caley Thistle striker hits the ground running. There are concerns over the fitness of John Rankin and a number of other players – while Paul Paton, Callum Morris and Mario Bilate are still out.
Ross County XI: Fox, Fraser, Robertson, Davies, Reckord, Gardyne, Irvine, Franks, Quinn, Boyce, Curran.
Dundee United XI: Zwick, McGowan, Dillon, Durnan, Dixon, Dow, Souttar, Rankin, Erskine, McKay, Spittal.
Given Dundee United’s woeful start to the season with only on win out of five and with Ross County buoyed by the 4-0 hammering of Kilmarnock hich brought Scottish football’s attention to the ‘Angry Killie fan’ – I am going for another Ross County win – although in the back of my head its probably going to be a draw in all likelihood.