Tam Courts could have a tough job on his hands keeping hold of three of his key men.
Benjamin Siegrist, Jeando Fuchs and Ian Harkes are all out of contract in the summer and the coming weeks could be key to retaining their services at Tannadice.
Courts has made everyone well aware that Dundee United are a ‘selling club’.
It’s not just him that deals with that, obviously, but it’s not an easy task to try and keep hold of your best players – so he’ll have to start thinking about bringing young players into the team and keep that cycle going a bit.
It will be really hard for him because there’s such a gap between Scotland and other leagues financially, particularly England.
The English Premier League is miles away from most in terms of money, but even the lower leagues, and non-league football, some of the clubs down there can pay more than they can up in Scotland.
It’s easy for players to say that they want to keep playing football here, but if someone comes and offers you three, four, five times your wages then it’s really difficult to knock it back.
That’s the problem that United have: they maybe want to push the boat out for these players to stay, but is that from a financial point of view going to be enough to keep those players here?
I think they’ll always struggle with that.
It’s maybe coming to some sort of agreement with these guys and get them on maybe another year or two contract with the promise that if a big club comes along that United will sell them on.
I think Siegrist is probably, without being disrespectful of the others, the stand-out for me the past season and a bit.
Just now, in the Premiership, I think he’s up there with the best two or three in the league.
I was lucky to play with a number of very good keepers at Dundee United as well. Guys like Grzegorz Szamotulski and Lukasz Zaluska were very good. It is a club that has been quite lucky in that regard, over the last 10-15 years really. They’ve always had decent keepers.
It tells you how good Siegrist is that he’s keeping a guy like Carson out. He’s a good keeper as well and United have got some real strength in that area just now. It’s an important area for a club that wants to do well. You’ve got to have a strong keeper and a strong centre half and that’s what they have got.
Dundee can use lack of game time to build positivity
If your team is on good form, the last thing you want is an international break.
But for a team like Dundee, there are lots of positives that can be made from this break from the team, which hasn’t quite fired on all cylinders yet since the start of the season.
Without the prospect of kicking another ball in anger until November 27, this is a really good opportunity to get themselves in shape.
James McPake will have to handle his players differently. Not all of the squad will be at the same levels – and by that I mean players like Leigh Griffiths and Charlie Adam.
They’ll need to manage the older guys like Charlie. He’s experienced enough to realise what he needs to do for games and it’s really good for guys like him to get a breather having played a lot of football.
But for somebody like Leigh, regardless of what the manager tells him, he should be looking at this part of the season to just go and work as hard as he can, every single day.
It’s tough to do that when you’ve got games, because you need to prepare for a match and can’t just concentrate on fitness.
He’s lucky he’s got these couple of weeks. Leigh should really be putting in double sessions every day to try and get himself as fit as possible.
High-flying Arbroath enjoying playing with no pressure
Dick Campbell is an unreal manager and continues to work wonders at Arbroath.
He’s the type of manager who knows his players will do well, whatever league they’re in. He always gets that right, no matter what.
Dick is always realistic in his expectations, saying that simply avoiding relegation is their target.
Even though he goes in with that sort of mentality, it doesn’t mean the players will accept failure. It allows the players the chance to go out and express themselves in a better way without too much pressure.
There’s no pressure to get promoted – but they have the ability to do it, there’s no doubt about it.