He felt missed chances made the win harder than it should have been but Dundee United boss Ray McKinnon took plenty of encouragement from Tuesday night’s win over Dunfermline.
Thomas Mikkelsen’s first-half strike, his fifth in five games, proved enough for the Tangerines to take three points and move up to third in the Championship.
But Ray felt the success might have been more emphatic.
“We make it more difficult than we need to,” he said.
“If we can take our chances in games or get that wee bit of luck when the ball’s come off the post from Tony Andreu’s shot, I don’t think it would be so frantic or nervous in the last 10 minutes.
“I think the players were hurting from Saturday, losing a goal so late in the game when we’d had so many chances to beat Falkirk.
“It was the same again this time. Dunfermline did have one really good chance but we had three good chances prior to that. If we could just take more of these chances we’d take the burden off ourselves and not have to endure the last 10 minutes like Saturday and we did again.”
Overall, Ray was delighted with a result that leaves him just a point behind Falkirk with four games to go in the race for second and an extra week off before getting involved in the play-offs.
And he saw hints his key men are getting back to the early-season form that pushed United to the top of the division by Christmas.
“I can see some good signs. The back four are starting to gel again and I thought William Edjenguele was good.
“Willo Flood was good as well and Tony Andreu showed a spark. If they can just get back to the form they were showing before for the end of the season I will be delighted.”
A first clean sheet since the victory over Raith Rovers back in early February was also a pleasing sight for the gaffer.
“The clean sheet was satisfying. It was disappointing to lose the late goal on Saturday and it would have been disappointing if we’d done the same again.
“Dunfermline threw caution to the wind in the last 10 or 15 minutes and I could sense the nervousness in our players.
“But they stood firm and got there and that was pleasing.”