Dundee United boss Robbie Neilson has revealed he was glad he resisted the temptation to name skipper Fraser Fyvie as a substitute for Tuesday night’s Championship game with Alloa at Tannadice.
The influential midfielder strained a hamstring during the win over Ross County two Saturdays ago.
A scan subsequently revealed the damage was not as bad as first feared with Fyvie returning to training at the start of this week.
Despite that, with a huge game with league leaders Ayr United looming large on the horizon a week on Friday, Neilson decided not to risk the 25-year-old from the start against Alloa but the player himself was keen to take a place on the bench.
However, the manager opted to give him the night off altogether – a decision he was later glad he made as the game with the Wasps had been heading for a nervous finish before Craig Curran struck late to make the score a more comfortable 4-2.
Neilson said: “Fraser was keen to go on the bench.
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“But I just felt that when you have a player of his stature on the bench, with the likes of the Alloa game, I probably would have been tempted to put him on.
“But if you do that and he gets another wee knock or it flares up again then you would be kicking yourself for the following week.
“So thankfully we decided not to do it and he should be ready for the Ayr game.”
By Neilson’s own admission, his players were not at their best against part-time Alloa.
However, he insisted that points not performances are all that ultimately matter if United are to realise their promotion dream.
He added: “When you are trying to challenge for a league, you need to win different types of games.
“We have played quite a few matches since I came in and we have won by playing really good football but we went to Ross County and we won with backs to the wall, being strong and defending well.
“Against Alloa, we managed to see out a game and take three points when we didn’t play well at all.
“So at the end of the season when you add up the points, no-one is going to be bothered about a Tuesday night in November against Alloa when we maybe didn’t hit the heights we can.
“All we are bothered about is the points.”