The international break will have been a welcome one Dundee United, having entered it on the back of three successive league defeats.
A thumping at Hamilton, a home loss against Celtic and a narrow defeat at Ross County have seen the Terrors slide to ninth place in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
They’re without a point since their 2-2 derby draw a month ago, and it’s a run which began towards the end of last season.
United have taken just 15 points from the last 63 available, and some United fans are beginning to call for Jackie McNamara to depart.
This weekend’s visit of bottom side Kilmarnock couldn’t be more timely however, offering the under-fire boss the perfect chance to lead his side to three much-needed points.
Gary Locke’s team have claimed just two points from six games, failing to score on four occasions.
United nemesis Kris Boyd once scored five in a game against them while at Rangers, but Killie’s frontman has just one strike this term, in a side which is struggling at both ends of the pitch.
The Arabs will be in fuller voice than useful this weekend too, following the sad passing of Tannadice legend Ralph Milne this week. Hopefully they can inspire the Terrors to a performance worthy of the former United hero.
Another winless side, Inverness, head to Tannadice next weekend and both these clashes are an excellent opportunity for McNamara and the team to get fans on side.
In fact each of United’s next four league games are against sides currently occupying sports in the bottom five in the Ladbrokes Premiership, with clashes against St Johnstone and Partick on the horizon.
Snapping up a striker
One argument for United’s woes this term has been a lack of conviction in front of goal, but that is something which could be put to an end with McNamara’s trump card.
The United boss swooped for Billy McKay on-loan from Wigan towards the end of the transfer window, a move which has brought plenty of optimism for beleaguered Arabs.
McKay is a proven goalscorer at this level, netting 54 goals in 121 appearances with Inverness.
Particular attention should be paid to his final three seasons at Caley Thistle, where he netted 51 times in just 99 league appearances in the top division.
If the 26-year-old striker has brought his goalscoring boosts across the border, then we can expect to see United return to the top half of the table in due course and the fans to find favour with their manager once more.
The next four weeks may well be a season-defining spell for the club and the manager, one way or another.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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