Dundee United must show they have the balls to play – Paul Watson

Dundee United’s Paul Watson has rejected the idea that his side need to ditch the nicer football in order to restore their lost form.

United are on a run of one win in their last five matches and head coach Robbie Neilson has already wielded the axe on a group of players, however Watson believes the pressure of the high standards required by the gaffer is a good thing with United chasing the league leaders.

“I don’t think anyone is safe at the minute,” he said.

“We are seven points adrift at this moment in time and we can’t afford for the gap to get much bigger, but it is a good pressure as well because if you do well we will win games.

“We know that as a team and we need to get back to that.”

With struggling Partick Thistle set to visit Tannadice on Saturday, Watson believes it is vital to get the win to rediscover the team’s previous good form.

“We are over halfway now,” he said.

“We want to be top of that league come the last game, so we need to be winning this game.

“I think we got four wins out of five and a draw when he (Neilson) first came in, or maybe five wins and it is now one win in five, so we need to get back to winning ways on a consistent basis.

“If we are consistent we will be right up there come May.”

Robbie Neilson pulled no punches with his comments following last week’s defeat to Alloa and Watson believes he and his teammates are big enough to take the criticism.

“He has been good,” he said.

“When we don’t perform like we know we should he’ll tell us.

“We are big enough men to take that and we know it has not been good enough over the last few weeks, but we can only put that right in the coming weeks.

“I wouldn’t say ‘sit down and clear the air’, yeah, we knew it wasn’t good enough.

“We know there is going to be movement in January, it’s the way a football club works.

“We know what we need to do to go forward and win games.”

Asked if part of what they need to do to go forward is to ditch the nicer parts of their game, Watson was candid about what he feels the United squad need to do.

“We will still be trying to play the way the manager wants us to play,” he said.

“I think that it’s important we stick to it because there are no easy games in this league, they could all be battles if you make them.

“It is having the balls, as the manager tells us, to get the ball down and play because if you don’t and it comes into a 50-50 game either side could win if it goes back and front.

“So, it is the team that has the balls and the character to get the ball down and pass it that will win the game.”

Meanwhile, Robbie Neilson has confirmed that he expects transfer movement, perhaps as early as this week, as he seeks to perform a mini-rebuild of the United squad. With new arrivals expected, there is also an expectation that a number of players will move on after being told they will no longer train with the first-team at United.

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