Dundee United boss Robbie Neilson insists his players are determined to “right the wrong” when they face Ayr United in a crunch Championship clash on Friday evening at Somerset Park.
The last time the sides met at Tannadice at the end of November, it was a night to forget for everyone of a Tangerine persuasion as the Honest Men ran riot, winning 5-0 with striker Lawrence Shankland netting four of the goals on the night.
Now, after United eased through to the fifth round of the Scottish Cup against Montrose on Saturday, Neilson is looking for another win against Ayr in the league and to leapfrog them into second place in the table.
The manager has already added Aidan Nesbitt, Cammy Smith, Morgaro Gomis and Ian Harkes during this window and he hinted that there may be further new signings in place before the game with Ian McCall’s side.
Neilson said: “The focus now is on the Ayr game.
“I spoke to the players right after the Montrose match and said that while it is great to be through in the cup, it is all about Friday night.
“We want to try to right that wrong. We didn’t come up to the standards we had done previously.
“Since then we are in a bit of form and it is a great game for us.
“We have brought some good players in. You can see the quality they have brought to the team and hopefully by Friday we will have a couple more to add to that.”
One of the new arrivals, American Harkes, made his debut against Montrose and capped his substitute appearance by scoring his side’s fourth goal.
Neilson admitted he was pleased with the 23-year-old’s performance but insists he will need time to settle in fully.
The manager added: “Ian has come in from a totally different culture and league so to come in and settle as quickly as that was great for him.
“You could see when he scored the goal all the players were round about him.
“You have to remember he is a young lad who is a long way from home.
“He will take a bit of time to settle in but this will definitely help.”