Dundee United manager Robbie Neilson joked that he would have preferred Lawrence Shankland’s wonder goal to wait until after the January transfer window had closed.
The Tangerines put up a real battle over two intense ties against Premiership side Hibs, eventually losing 4-2 in the William Hill Scottish Cup fourth round replay at Easter Road last night.
It was an extra special strike from Shankland that gave Neilson’s men the lead after just 11 minutes.
Scott Allan’s penalty levelled the match by the break then Christian Doidge made it 2-1 to the hosts before United sub Adrian Sporle equalised just a minute after coming on.
Doidge then made sure for Hibs with another couple of goals, bagging himself a hat-trick.
However, it was Shankland’s strike – played out before the usual audience of scouts – that will live longest in the memory.
Neilson joked: “I would have preferred if he had saved that until just after January, when the window is shut!
“He showed his quality even though he can still improve.”
Neilson, who quipped pre-match that he would be camping outside his striker’s house to stop any potential buyer reaching him, added: “We don’t have to sell any players.
“We are financially stable.
“Lawrence is a major part of what we are doing here.
“He will continue to be a part of that and we will reassess where we are in the summer.”
Neilson was satisfied with his players over what were two hugely entertaining cup clashes against the Hibees.
“I was really pleased with the workrate and effort,” he said.
“We spoke briefly before the game about the number of fans we were bringing down, at a tough time of the year and them not having been paid since Christmas.
“We needed to repay them with a good performance and I think we did that.
“However, if we do get up then we want to be coming here and winning, not just being pleased with a performance.”