The St Mirren ground staff were poised to shut the stadium down for the night when Dundee United boss Ray McKinnon finally emerged to speak to the press following Wednesday’s defeat against the Buddies in Paisley.
The manager had kept his players locked in the away dressing-room for a lengthy “discussion” following the 3-2 reverse against the side propping up the Championship table.
The result was another hammer blow to the Tangerines’ hopes of automatic promotion this season with the gap on league leaders Hibs remaining at a daunting 10 points.
One of the few plus points from Wednesday’s woe was the performance of on-loan Norwich City Tony Andreu who netted his side’s two goals and was a shining light throughout.
The Frenchman candidly confessed the manager was well within his rights to be fuming after the match – and now the United players have to give him the response he deserves when they travel to face another team struggling at the wrong end of the table, Raith Rovers.
The 28-year-old, who has netted 16 times in total for United this season, said: “I think every manager would be frustrated after what happened at St Mirren.
“He is totally right because as players we should be doing a lot better.
“The fact is we came to the bottom team in the league and lost.
“It is hard to take but it is down to us, the players. We didn’t produce any good football which is a shame.
“Raith are fighting for their lives like St Mirren but I think it is going to be a different game.
“They don’t have the same players as St Mirren who are good technically.
“Raith are really physical and they will fight for everything.
“So we know it is going to be a slightly different game but if we take control of it, we should be OK.
“It is down to us to be confident and to step up.
“We need to deliver a performance – it is as simple as that.
“As players we should be willing to do better every day at training and during the game.
“We will be favourites and we have to live up to that – it is the big factor for Saturday.”
Andreu could have had a hat-trick against St Mirren but was denied by the woodwork at the start of the second half.
However, ultimately, he felt the Buddies deserved to take all three points.
Andreu said: “I probably could have headed it better and on another day it might have been a goal.
“It is fine margins but another two inches and it would have been inside the post.
“That’s football and you have to accept it but obviously if I scored three it would have been good but as a team we probably should have scored more goals.
“To be fair, St Mirren were better than us.
“We were on top of them for the last 30 minutes but we didn’t score so all credit to them.
“They have really good players up front but conceding so early in the second minute killed us.
“We came back but they scored twice and all in all, it was a poor performance.”
Andreu still has a year left on his contract at Norwich and as things stand, he will be heading back down south at the end of this season.
However, the manager who took him to the Canaries, Alex Neil, will not be there after being sacked last week.
Andreu added: “I was told he had left the club which is unfortunate for him, to be fair.
“I think he is a good coach but he didn’t have any luck this season.
“So he has paid the price for the performances of the players but I wish him all the best.
“My aim is to go back at the end of this season.
“We will then see what happens with me and Norwich.”
Meanwhile, Scott Fraser has had an operation on the foot he broke against St Mirren with the midfielder now set to miss the rest of the season.