Dundee United goalkeeper Matej Rakovan has admitted that today’s clash against pointless Falkirk is a “must-win” match.
The Tangerines have struggled in their last two fixtures against Alloa and Morton, with two draws nowhere near what is required of wannabe title candidates.
The pressure has never really been off manager Csaba Laszlo but you get the feeling it is intensifying ahead of this clash against the bottom-placed team.
If your glass is half empty, then this looks like an extremely dangerous trip to the Falkirk Stadium for United partly because their hosts are so far winless in the Championship.
There is also the opposition manager situation to factor in, with Laszlo’s predecessor Ray McKinnon now in charge of the Bairns.
Most of all, though, the Tangerines haven’t been playing very well and look vulnerable after failing to beat both the Wasps and Ton.
Rakovan may have only arrived at Tannadice in June but he knows how important it is that this third season in the Championship should be their last.
To achieve their promotion goal they can’t afford to throw away points as they have been doing.
Rakovan said: “Of course it is a must-win game.
“If you look back over the last couple of matches we have come back against Morton but we have dropped four points against them and Alloa.
“Those two draws are not enough for us.
“We want to win promotion so this match is very important for us.
“We need to do everything we can to win three points against Falkirk.
“We know we have quality and we hope to succeed.
“Of course, Falkirk have zero points but we know it will be a difficult game.
“Every match is pressure for us.
“Every time we lose any points the pressure goes up but that’s just the way it is in football.
“We have to handle the situation so we will think about this match in a positive way.
“There is pressure to win every game here.
“That’s how I feel and that’s how the other players feel too.
“We have the quality to be successful but we have to show it out on the pitch, not just talk about it off the pitch.”
Asked if having a former United manager in the other dugout will be a factor, Rakovan replied: “It is a similar situation to the Morton game because they had also replaced their coach and when that happens players try really hard to impress.
“The other players here have told me about their manager being the coach here in the past.
“It is a special situation for the players who know him and worked with him.
“Maybe it’s also a good motivation for some players but we can only focus on one goal and that goal is to win.”