Dundee United players spared hairdryer treatment from manager Micky Mellon despite heavy loss to Rangers
Dundee United’s players were spared the hairdryer treatment despite being locked in for longer than usual following their Ibrox defeat.by Ian Roache
The Tangerines suffered their second successive 4-0 league loss when they were put to the sword by Rangers on Saturday and it was no surprise whatsoever when manager Micky Mellon held his team back for “words.”
The dressing-room dressing-down, though, wasn’t the kind of rant made famous or infamous by Sir Alex Ferguson but rather advice and encouragement, according to Peter Pawlett.
The Tangerines’ midfielder said: “It is all a learning process for us.
“Obviously, if you get beaten 4-0 then there are going to be words said.
“Were that not the case then there would be something wrong.
“The manager did speak to us.
“He is not one of those people who will come in screaming and shouting. It wasn’t like that.
“Instead, it was all about the need for improvement. That’s what he tries to do – bring us on as a squad.
“It was very disappointing for us but we have to learn from this and move on.”
It is never good to lose 4-0, obviously, but you particularly don’t want to do so after going down by the same scoreline at Kilmarnock in your previous fixture.
However, Pawlett added: “I would say that apart from the last two results we have started the season well.
“They have been two very difficult results to take.
“We have to move on, as I said, and our next couple of games (at home to St Mirren and away to Hamilton) are maybe opportunities to get points on the board.
“We have to be positive about that.
“The reality is that after seven games we have seven points so we have to push on now.
“There is no point feeling sorry for yourselves. I have been in the game long enough to know there is no room for that.”
As Pawlett pointed out, the Tangerines did try to have an impact on the game but they were well beaten.
“I would say the goals we lost were sloppy and I think we can do better there,” he said.
“We did try to take Rangers on and played quite high up the pitch but obviously it turned out to be a very disappointing day for us.”
There was one bright silver lining to the dark clouds that hung over Ibrox all afternoon.
United striker Lawrence Shankland finally took to the field as a second-half substitute, having recovered from his ankle injury, and almost scored in the dying seconds.
However, his return was overshadowed by the result.
Shankland said: “It was a tough one, simply not good enough if I’m being honest.
“You need to bring your ‘A’ game but we didn’t. We were slack in possession at times, disorganised and just not good enough. We got what we deserved.
“Obviously you want to come on when you’ve got a chance in the game but we were 2-0 down at that point.
“It wasn’t looking great to be honest with you and we weren’t playing well enough at all so I just came on and got some minutes.
“It was good to be back out there but it is hard to take positives out of that.
“I’m back on the field, though, and I’m looking back to getting back to training and our next game.
“It was frustrating being out and there were days when it (the injury) felt good and days when it felt bad.
“It’s been feeling better so, fingers crossed, it stays like that.”