Season defining week ahead for Dundee United

Dundee United head coach Robbie Neilson says the next week of fixtures – three games in seven days – will have a huge bearing on how successful their season will be.

United visit in-form Dunfermline this Saturday with Stevie Crawford’s side on an impressive winning streak. However, Neilson believes his side can take confidence from previous good results they have had against Dunfermline.

“It is going to be tough down there,” he said.

“We had a good result down there a few months ago and we had a good result at home against them.

“So, we are confident of going down and getting the three points.

“It is going to be tough like all the games are, but we have to be positive going into it.”

United play three games in the space of seven days including a big match against league leaders Ross County and the United boss agrees that this could be a defining week as the business end of the season approaches.

“There is no denying that the next week will have a huge bearing on where we end up at the end of the season,” he said.

“We have to try and get maximum points from it.”

United have experienced a dip in form and have struggled to score from open play in recent matches. Whilst frustrated, Neilson is keen to stay focused on the positives and the chances the team are creating.

“The disappointment for me, especially on Saturday, is that we had opportunities to win the game,” he said.

“At 1-1 we had two definite opportunities we need to score that we didn’t take, and we ended up going down against a counter-attack.

“So, we are creating these chances, we just are not taking them.

“That is the frustrating thing, but we need to keep the positivity going.

“We are creating them, we just need to get them over the line.”

Osman Sow has struggled to rack up meaningful game-time since joining the club and the striker managed just 20 minutes against Partick Thistle before suffering injury. For the Dundee United boss the key is going to be patience in ensuring the club sees the best of Sow.

“It is difficult for Osman and it is difficult for us all because we can see the quality he brings to the team,” he said.

“We see it in training, we see it in the 20 minutes we got at Partick as well and the frustration is that we just can’t seem to get him up to full match speed, but we just have to take our time.

“Ultimately, he is here for 18 months and he is a very, very good player.

“You can see that in the moments he has had in the game.

“We just need to take our time.”

Meanwhile, Dundee United have no further injury concerns ahead of this weekend’s visit to East End Park and will have Peter Pawlett back after he served his suspension.

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