Dundee United will persist with “have-a-go” football despite shipping eight goals in their last two matches.
Manager Micky Mellon did try to get his players to press Rangers high up the park at Ibrox last Saturday, while they enjoyed 67% possession at Kilmarnock in their previous game. They ended up losing both fixtures 4-0.
Nevertheless, Mellon has ordered his players not to go into their shell but instead open up against St Mirren when they visit Tannadice this weekend.
He said: “What we are trying to do here is build a team that has moved up a level to go for it in every game they play.
“What I am trying to produce here is quite simple, which is have-a-go football.
“That is what we will continue to do – coach have-a-go football. That is what I like to see and I know the Dundee United fans like to see.
“There is no doubt that we will have to get better at have-a-go football.
“That keeps it simple for everybody,” added Mellon.
“We know there are areas that we need to improve upon if we’re going to play the way we want to.
“We are working really hard on that. As we go along, we will have the relevant training sessions, the relevant meetings, and watch the games and see the bits we absolutely know we’ve got to get better at.
“We never said at the start of the season that we didn’t believe we had to improve.
“Even if the scorelines were the other way around, we would still be looking for improvement. You have to see where you can take it to.
“We know where we are at and will continue to try and get better in all areas of the pitch while continuing to play have-a-go football.
“We won’t be sitting back and getting dictated to.
“We suffer from the result on Saturday but we come away from that and we are looking to improve.”
Mellon all but confirmed fit-again frontman Lawrence Shankland will start against the Buddies, while midfielder Paul McMullan also got a name-check from the manager and could be in the line-up.
Ryan Edwards will also be available after the SFA decided not to take retrospective action against him for his challenge on Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos, while Mellon reported that fellow central defender Mark Connolly is making progress with his ankle problem.
The United gaffer said: “We’ve got people coming back now, which is always important.
“We still have one or two who won’t be available for the weekend but we’re moving in the right direction now.
“Lawrence will be back, while Mark Connolly has made good progress in the last two days.
“We had a bounce game here against Raith Rovers so there was a load of them who got time there, McMullan and people like that.
“We are heading in the right direction now.”
Mellon, who is from Paisley, watched his hometown team lose 2-1 to Celtic on Wednesday night in a rescheduled game.
He felt St Mirren did well against the champions despite finishing up second best, adding: “We saw their game last night against Celtic and I am sure it will be a different game against us with different asks.
“We know they will be well organised, are Premiership players and they will look forward to coming to a top stadium like we have at United.
“I would expect to be tested and I think it will be a really good game.”
Mellon, meanwhile, insisted nothing is imminent on the transfer front but Osman Sow featured in the Raith match and the gaffer didn’t completely rule him out of the picture.
“The big fella is someone who is very fondly thought of here at the club,” claimed Mellon.
“He is still living in Dundee and he is getting over a serious injury and needed a game.
“We are always on the lookout to see if we can improve the group and we would keep an open mind on anything happening but nothing would be imminent.”
Mellon added: “We are still trying hard to improve things.
“It can be difficult.
“Sometimes you think you can move ahead with some stuff but we are trying to improve the group and looking to move forward.
“We have a number of things we are moving on that have changed from last week because things change very, very quickly.
“There is nothing imminent today but things are moving ahead. You know what it is like – it is so delicate at times.
“We are hopeful we can get some stuff done.”