Steven Fletcher admits he was embarrassed to go home after losing 9-0 against Celtic.
The Dundee United striker has passionately denied that senior stars were unaffected by the Tangerines’ capitulation, as suggested by some onlookers who accused them of downing tools.
The result ultimately cost Jack Ross his job, with interim head coach Liam Fox subsequently leading them to a 2-1 victory over Livingston on Wednesday evening.
“It’s not as if we went home (after the Celtic game) and just carried on as normal,” said Fletcher. “It wasn’t nice for the few days after that.
“It was embarrassing. You’re going back to your house and, as my kids now understand football, I remember pulling up in my car and seeing my son looking out the window. He was looking at me as if to ask, “did that really happen?”
“I had to shake my head and say yes.
“We’re human beings as well…it was a tough few days.”
Kick up the backside
Nevertheless, United produced a fine response in West Lothian.
Fletcher was outstanding as the Terrors progressed to the last eight of the Premier Sports Cup, scoring the opener and teeing up another for Ian Harkes.
Resilience and organisation were required in the closing stages after Kurtis Guthrie halved arrears.
— Dundee United FC (@dundeeunitedfc) September 1, 2022
“Because of how bad it had been, we almost gave ourselves a kick up the backside,” continued Fletcher. “It shouldn’t take that for it to happen — but it has.
“When people question your character and how you are as people — never mind players — it’s not nice to hear. Nobody wants to hear that about themselves.
“We knew we had to put on a performance. That was the main thing. We had to show togetherness and the fact that we are a good team. We show it every day in training, which is the most frustrating thing.
“The quality is there but against Livingston it wasn’t about that. It was about rolling up our sleeves and working hard and putting in the extra miles. I think even my running stats were up!”
A good group of lads
As revealed by Courier Sport, former United hero Duncan Ferguson is ready to speak to Tannadice chiefs about the managerial vacancy, while Fox is the bookies’ favourite after masterminding their first win at Livi since 2005.
“I think people will be looking in from the outside and saying, ‘I could get something out of that squad’,” added Fletcher.
“Foxy’s in charge just now and he’s got a result, but who comes in now? That’s for upstairs to decide.
“We’ll just get on with it on the training ground.
“Whoever takes over will be getting a good squad and a good group of lads.”