Central defender Mark Durnan is walking a suspension tightrope as Dundee United prepare to discover their play-off fate.
The Tangerines will be without banned duo William Edjenguele and Simon Murray for tomorrow’s trip to Morton for the final fixture of the Championship’s regulation season.
Should Durnan collect a caution at Cappielow then he will be suspended for one of the subsequent play-off fixtures, probably a leg of the final should United get there.
United need to win against Ton and hope Falkirk either lose or draw away to Dumbarton if they are to secure second spot in the table.
If they don’t manage that and stay in the third place they currently occupy then they will be straight back into action with a return trip to Cappielow to play the Greenock men in the quarter-final first leg on Tuesday night.
So there is a lot at stake for United this weekend and they will be relying on Durnan to give his all at the back, especially with Edjenguele still banned.
The big man will have to do so without collecting the caution that has been hanging over him since his last of his seven bookings at Dunfermline at the end of January.
The Tangerines don’t even have the luxury of resting Durnan, given their lack of options at the back.
United boss Ray McKinnon confirmed: “We have Simon and William suspended for Saturday and Mark is one booking away from a ban.
“We just can’t afford for him to get booked or he will miss a play-off game.
“We have to put him in because we are going to play the strongest side we have in order to win the match.”
On the plus side, McKinnon will have key men Tony Andreu and Thomas Mikkelsen fit after both had been carrying knocks.
McKinnon’s selection worries contrast rather starkly with the situation Morton manager Jim Duffy has found himself in.
With Duffy knowing weeks ago that his team could finish no higher than fourth, he has allowed some of his players to take a break.
McKinnon, though, isn’t too fazed by the different hands he and his Morton counterpart have been dealt.
He said: “They have known they are finishing fourth and happy to be finishing fourth.
“We are trying to finish second so we have to keep playing our strongest side.
“We just have to go with what we’ve got.”
McKinnon admits he is frustrated at not going into tomorrow’s match with their fate in their own hands.
He added: “I think we should have won every one of our last five games.
“We should have beaten Falkirk, we did beat Dunfermline, we should have beaten Ayr United, we did beat St Mirren and we should have beaten Dumbarton.
“We should have won all of those matches.
“We should have been clear in second.
“However, it was not to be.
“We now need to make sure that keep creating chances and take more of them.
“The good thing is that the performance level is decent.
“The players’ attitude is good as well and it’s a good place to be.
“We don’t look like getting beat.
“We just need to take it on the chin, where we are, and go again.
“We just need to accept where we finish but hopefully that is second.
“It won’t be easy for Falkirk at Dumbarton but what we need to do before thinking about anything else is win our own game.
“That will be our focus on Saturday and then we will deal with where we have finished.”