Dundee United boss Micky Mellon insists his ‘naive’ team will improve following tonight’s 5-1 defeat at the hands of St Mirren.
Jim Goodwin’s side went in at half-time 3-0 up thanks to a Joe Shaughnessy header and a pair of controversial Jamie McGrath penalties.
Ian Harkes pulled one back for the hosts before subs Dylan Connolly and Kristian Dennis made sure of the three points for the Paisley men.
Mellon blasted his lads for a first-half display that gave them a mountain to climb.
“It’s easy to say – I’m disappointed to lose five goals when we have been defensively very solid,” he said.
“We tried to come out of that and be a wee bit more aggressive going forward but we lost two penalties and a goal from a set play. That can be helped.
“We’re disappointed to be losing two headers in our own 18-yard box – you’re always going to make it difficult for yourself.
“To go in at half-time 3-0 down, you give yourself a mountain to climb.
“We said: ‘Look just keep playing and try to get the next goal’.
“We got a cracking goal but we give away two cheap goals. That sometimes happens, and I’m not making excuses, when you go all out to try to get back in it.
“We’ll need to learn lessons. I keep on banging on about how inexperienced we are at this level but we showed wee bits of naivety we need to learn from and we will get better.
“It’s my job to keep moving the players forward and get ready for a big game at the weekend.”
Penalty decisions disappoint United gaffer
As well as the penalties they did concede, Mellon was disappointed United didn’t get one of their own as Richard Tait challenged Luke Bolton just before the visitors opened the scoring.
Mellon continued: “I had a good view of our claim, and I understand the guy played the ball, but I thought it was his follow through that flicked Luke Bolton.
“He’s reaching the ball so I was disappointed not to get that.
“With the free-kick, Mark (Reynolds) might’ve been trying harder to get goal side of the fella but he’s got behind him and Shaughnessy’s felt some contact and got a penalty.
“He showed a bit of cuteness there – that’s the way it goes and the referee’s deemed it a penalty.
“The next one is just blasted from a range, and I don’t even know if it hits his hand, where I think if we’re going to give penalties for that we’ve had a case to say we should’ve had four this season.
“I thought it was a harsh one.”
Siegrist touch and go as Hibs come to Tannadice
No 1 Benjamin Siegrist started on the bench, with Mellon confirming the keeper is struggling with a calf problem.
However, he hopes the Swiss stopper can return in time for the visit of Hibs to Tannadice on Saturday.
He added: “He’s got a bit of a calf problem where we felt he was in a place where if he does it any worse than where it’s at we could be looking at weeks.
“We felt if he got a couple of days rest and doesn’t make it any worse he could probably get over it.
“We’re hoping that’s the way it goes for him.”