Fraser-shaped holes killing the Tan­ger­ines

Evening Telegraph (First Edition) - - Uk World Today -

DUNDEE United’s ca­pit­u­la­tion in the Cham­pi­onship ti­tle race has been as ex­plo­sive as it has been sur­pris­ing.

Plenty of Arabs will dis­pute the ‘sur­pris­ing’ part of that state­ment af­ter watch­ing their team over the last cou­ple of years.

How­ever, to get spanked 3-0 at home while you’re chas­ing down St Mir­ren at the top of the ta­ble is way beyond not good enough.

I se­ri­ously feel for the Tan­nadice sup­port af­ter yet an­other bat­ter­ing to what pride is left in their team.

See­ing the re­sult com­ing in on my phone while at Hamil­ton brought back mem­o­ries of Ray McKin­non’s last game as man­ager.

Against In­ver­ness back in Oc­to­ber, there was just no re­ac­tion from the play­ers to go­ing be­hind — and then fur­ther be­hind.

From afar, it looked ex­actly the same again.

What Satur­day’s de­feat high­lights — and this has been ap­par­ent for weeks now — is show how much the Tan­ger­ines re­lied on the quality of Fraser Fyvie and Scott Fraser.

With­out those two pulling the strings, cre­at­ing chances and putting some fear into the op­po­si­tion, teams are com­ing up against United know­ing they can turn them over.

With­out the two Frasers it just shows how short of quality the rest of the squad is.

At any level, Cham­pi­onship or Cham­pi­ons League, los­ing your two best play­ers is go­ing to have a mas­sive neg­a­tive ef­fect.

That duo miss­ing leaves a squad full of age­ing pros like Willo Flood and Scott McDon­ald, most prob­a­bly in their last sea­son, com­bined with in­con­sis­tent per­form­ers like Paul McMul­lan and Billy King, and young­sters just start­ing out like Jamie Rob­son and Harry Lewis.

What Fyvie and Fraser can do is put their foot on the ball and dic­tate the game — there’s no one else who can take a game by the scruff of the neck and pull United through.

Sam Stan­ton is as close as they’ve got quality-wise but he needs good play­ers around him to be able to play.

The rest of United’s sea­son hangs on whether or not they can get Scott Fraser back fit and on the pitch.

The hope is he’ll be back be­fore the end of the sea­son and he’ll be needed if they are to do any­thing in the play-offs.

Scott Fraser and Fraser Fyvie have been mas­sive losses as Dundee United have strug­gled in re­cent weeks.

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