Micky Mellon insists there is no threat of Dundee United being forced to ship players out of Tannadice this week.
The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have hit United’s finances hard, leading the club to approach fans over a potential six-figure cash injection.
However, their manager says he has not been primed to expect departures over the next six days.
“There’s been no one who’s come to me and said that there is any threat that I’m going to lose anybody,” said Mellon.
“What would happen is that they’d come to me and say: ‘You may lose somebody, have you somebody else in mind or have you got someone else in the building who could do that job?’
“I’ve not been asked that, I’ve had no phone calls, which you usually do from managers, so I have nothing to report or excite you about.”
The financial belt-tightening sparked at clubs up and down the country by Covid-19 means player incomings are likely to be limited everywhere.
United will not be an exception and Mellon, who is committed to the talent-development side of the Tannadice manager’s job, is comfortable with that.
However, he insists he is willing to approach sporting director Tony Asghar if an opportunity to strengthen his squad presents itself.
“I always want to improve it, don’t get me wrong, but where we’re at is that I’m with a developing group,” said Mellon.
“If I don’t allow that group time to develop then I’m not doing what I said at the very start of the season.
“I need to find ways of helping them improve to a higher level and keep giving them the opportunity to grow and do that.
“I’ve got a number of young boys who I want to give opportunities to to grow before we move on anything (in the transfer market).
“If something came up and I believed that it would make Dundee United better, then I would go to Tony and speak about it, but there hasn’t really been anything that’s come up at the minute that would change my mind on giving people the opportunity to grow and improve.”
Clear pathways prioritised
Pre-contract work has also taken a back seat in this window, with priority given to clearing pathways for young talent – a mission that would be further aided if the Tangerines can reach an agreement to send Paul McMullan to Dens Park in the coming days.
Mellon continued: “We haven’t really pursued (pre-contracts) because as I have said, we have a developing group.
“If I understand development, it needs time. It needs time to grow and you have see where it goes.
“We have people growing and making an impact in the group, the loan ones have come back better and look like men now.
“So we will allow that to happen.
“In terms of pre-contracts, we don’t want to block any pathways, but if anything comes up that I think would be a great opportunity for us then I’d pursue it.
“But I haven’t gone to Tony and done any of that.”
On McMullan, who has not trained with Mellon’s first team group since agreeing a pre-contract move to Dundee, he added: “Paul hasn’t done anything wrong, it’s to do with the testing and all the rest of it because I have a group I work with every day.
“We have good numbers here so I can only coach so many people.
“The ideal scenario would be if Paul could get himself up to Dundee and get on with it with them.
“At the minute I am going with the people I think will help move Dundee United forward.”
Standards are key
Mellon is hopeful Calum Butcher will return to fitness in time to play some part in tomorrow night’s clash with St Mirren at Tannadice.
And the United manager believes the key to success for his players lies in maintaining their high standards.
“I am not really bothered what St Mirren do, we have to concentrate on ourselves and focus on getting the things right that we need to,” he said.
“We want to continue improving and getting results for the clubs, so we have to make sure we keep turning up.
“So we set good standards, the running and what you do with and without the ball – that’s what we concentrate on.”