Dundee United manager Ray McKinnon has stressed that their heavy loss to Hibs is not the “end of the world.”
McKinnon has spent this week lifting his players for Saturday’s home match against Queen of the South as they try to recover from their 3-0 hammering at Easter Road last Friday night.
That result put them four points behind the Championship leaders – realistically five if you factor in the Edinburgh club’s superior goal difference – and there has been plenty of gloom and doom about in the wake of that defeat.
However, McKinnon has urged everyone to keep things in perspective, with 16 matches still remaining in the league season.
He said: “I think because we went top of the league before Christmas the expectations went through the roof.
“Then, when we get a blip, suddenly it’s like the end of the world.
“That is not how I see it.
“The extremes are crazy but for us it’s about keeping a balanced outlook.
“We are only four points behind the league leaders and if you had said that to me at the start of the season, I would have bitten your hand off.
“Indeed, I’m happy with where we are in the league.
“So we need to keep level-headed and not get either too up or too down.
“We are chasing Hibs now and we will try to do that until the end of the season.
“I’m not happy with that last result but I am not down either.
“Hibs still have to come to Tannadice and have some really tricky games against other good sides.
“It is still there for us but we need to perform and really kick on between now and the end of the season.”
There is, nevertheless, pressure on the Tangerines to raise their standard of performance considerably from Easter Road when they host the men from Dumfries on Saturday.
Asked if the players were desperate to make amends for such a poor display, he replied: “I don’t think it’s so much of desperation to bounce back, it is about going to try and get three points.
“We had a setback last Friday but want to get back to winning ways.
“We will put the Hibs game to the back of our minds.
“It’s done now.”
McKinnon, who has been busy trying to sign another forward player to join new Danish striker Thomas Mikkelsen, has done his homework on the Doonhamers.
The United gaffer said: “Queen of the South are a good side and I watched them on Saturday against St Mirren, complete with their new signings.
“They are hard-working.
“I thought 3-0 flattered them at the weekend because St Mirren were decent.
“However, they will come to Tannadice and probably make themselves hard to beat.
“They will also try and play on the counter-attack but that’s what we expect at Tannadice.
“They are decent and have a decent manager in Gary Naysmith.
“However, our results have been good at Tannadice and we hope that continues.”