Jim Goodwin insists Dundee United “can’t start panicking” as they seek to get back to winning ways on Saturday.
The Tangerines exited two competitions against League 1 opposition in the space of eight days – albeit the manner of each elimination was starkly contrasting.
In their 4-2 SPFL Trust Trophy defeat to Falkirk, the below-par Terrors were roundly and deservedly beaten.
However, Goodwin’s charges were much improved against Queen of the South, only for staggering profligacy to see them draw 2-2 after extra-time, with Goodwin noting: “On another day, we score six or seven goals.”
He also added: “It beggared belief how we didn’t score more.”
Instead, Queens were exemplary from 12 yards and progressed 4-3 on spot-kicks.
“Our players have been brilliant all season, they are unbeaten in the league and the points return is excellent,” said Goodwin. “I can’t be too harsh, and we can’t start panicking because we have gone out of those cups.
“We simply need to get back on track this weekend and keep our sole focus on the league – making sure all that hard work we have done to now stands us in good stead.”
Bitter pill to swallow
Goodwin was also willing to write off the wastefulness of his United stars as an uncharacteristic off-day, given they remain the top scorers in the Championship and have averaged 2.2 goals per game in all competitions.
Only Celtic have scored more league goals than Goodwin’s men in the SPFL.
“One thing I can’t be critical of the players about is the number of goals they have scored,” continued the Tannadice gaffer. “We are the top scorers in the league and have produced a lot of positive performances.
“We have scored four, five and six in different games. Yet, in those matches, we had nowhere near the number of opportunities we did on Saturday!
“It’s not like us. We’ve normally been very good in front of goal, and we’ve got players all over the park who have chipped in. It is a bitter pill for players, staff and, of course, the fans to swallow.”
“We’ll dust ourselves down”
Following their cup woes, United travel to Cappielow on Saturday aiming to continue their excellent Championship campaign. They remain one of only three unbeaten sides in Scottish and English league football, along with Celtic and Falkirk.
“The players are a very honest group, and they don’t need me to be reading the riot act,” he continued.
“They know that they need to win games of football.
“That is what we have done in the league – where we are still unbeaten – and we’ll dust ourselves down and make sure we are ready for Morton.”