Groundhog Day for Dillon after another lead slips away
SEAN DILLON isn’t about to argue with him. Not only is Mixu Paatelainen his manager, but the Dundee United defender knows there would be no point pretending they are currently anything other than mere soft touches in the eyes of the opposition.
That’s what the beleaguered United boss compared his bottom-of-the-table side to in the wake of Saturday’s damaging defeat to Hamilton which left them trailing second-bottom Motherwell by seven points, and there is little doubt teams the length and breadth of the country now believe they are there for the taking such are their deficiencies especially in defence.
United, not for the first time this season, contrived to blow a valuable lead as they plunged to another loss in the league despite Billy McKay giving them a first-half lead before their secondhalf collapse summed up their season so far
Paatelainen, whose managed just one win since replacing departed boss Jackie McNamara back in October, confessed after the game “crisis” wasn’t an exaggeration in describing their current domestic plight which sees them facing an almighty fight to retain top-flight survival.
Gavin Gunning’s own goal sparked their late downfall before Ziggy Gordon’s stylish 79th minute winner piled more misery on the Tayside outfit.
And defender Dillon, one of the more experienced stalwarts within their ranks, was refusing to hide from reality in the aftermath of this latest setback, by admitting Paatelainen called it right with his frank post-match assessment which compared them to an easy target.
He said: “You can’t argue with him. I am not sure how many times we have only conceded one this season.
“When.we have conceded one, we have generally let in a second and that has been the case in the last two weeks anyway. That is disappointing but it is just something we need to put right.”
United seemed to be heading for only their second win since Paatelainen took over at then helm, after McKay’s firsthalf opener had given them hope. Dubliner Dillon was left to scratch his head once more as he attempted to explain the reasons behind their on-field malaise which is threatening their existence as a Premiership club.
He said: “It is just so frustrating. You are getting the same answers out of me all the time at the moment.
“But I think you can see there are improvements being made the way we played today.
“However, we have conceded another two bad goals. So as much as it is disappointing that we didn’t take our opportunities up front, we have let in another two poor goals.”
Meanwhile, Hamilton’s Lucas Tagliapietra has revealed they’ve have set their sights on a winning run, now that they’re back in the groove. Martin Canning’s men celebrated their first victory in two months and now they’ve savoured that winning feeling again, Brazilian star Tagliapietra insists they’re looking onwards and upwards.
Tagliapietra, who helped his side leapfrog Ross County into fifth place, said: “Hopefully we can go on a winning run. That has got to be the aim.
“It’s very tight in the table. I think we have the quality to keep fighting.”
PAATELAINEN: Facing fight for survival