18 July 2023

Viaplay Cup hopes as good as over already, admits Dundee United boss Jim Goodwin

18 July 2023

Dundee United boss Jim Goodwin admits his team have blown their chances of Viaplay Cup progress after suffering a second successive defeat at home to Partick Thistle on Tuesday.

The Tannadice side needed a result against their Championship rivals after a shock loss at fourth-tier Spartans in their opener on Saturday.

But they fell flat once more as goals from Jags pair Brian Graham and Harry Milne wiped out Craig Sibbald’s early strike for United, who are rooted to the bottom of Group B as the only side in the section with no points.

They host Peterhead on Saturday before travelling to Falkirk in their final match and Goodwin admits his team are now playing for pride.

“I think we need to be brutally honest about the situation, I think it’s unlikely that six points will get us out of the group,” the embattled manager told Viaplay Sports.

“I think we need to be realistic about that. We have to restore some pride on Saturday, it’s as simple as that.

“There will be changes to the starting XI again at the weekend to try and get some minutes among the group, try and get some goals and try and entertain the fans a bit more than we did tonight.”

United have been heavily criticised for their dismal start, but Goodwin, who added former Motherwell and Burton striker Louis Moult to his squad on Tuesday, is adamant their Viaplay Cup flop will not define their season.

“It’s still very early days,” he said. “Of course this isn’t the start we wanted to the campaign.

“We had every intention of winning the group and getting through to the latter stages of this competition, but, as much as we were desperate to do that, I don’t think this is going to define our season.

“Our main focus this season is on the league. We need to bounce back straight away (to the Premiership) at the first time of asking.

“It’s still important to remind ourselves we’ve brought in six new faces who are still trying to settle in and get used to the environment and what’s being asked of them.

“We’re a work in progress at the moment and we know we’ve got a lot to do.”

Partick boss Kris Doolan said: “We gave away a slack goal but the way we reacted to that was fantastic. Even though we were under pressure at times, I felt our shape was good and our young lads gave us energy.”

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