Jim Goodwin rues ‘missed opportunity’ as Dundee Utd relegation fears deepen

·3-min read
Steve Welsh/PA Wire

Jim Goodwin admits Dundee United’s 2-1 defeat at Livingston was a “missed opportunity” after they were left clinging on to Premiership survival.

The Tannadice outfit saw results elsewhere go for them as relegation rivals Kilmarnock and Ross County both lost.

But defeat at Almondvale leaves the Tangerines still two points adrift at the bottom of the table and desperately in need of a victory over Killie – just three points ahead in the safety of 10th spot – at home on Wednesday night.

The United manager said: “The other results have gone for us. We feel like it’s a missed opportunity.

“But we are still there with two games to go. It’s a massive game on Wednesday. We always felt it was going to go to the wire.

“All the other managers I’ve spoken to of late are in agreement that nobody is safe.

“It is very much still a three-horse race with us, County and Killie — and we have to keep believing.

“That’s the bottom line. As much as we are hurting and disappointed we have to dust ourselves down.”

United kicked off apparently in the mood but lost a disastrous opening goal after just 10 minutes.

Goalkeeper Mark Birighitti and centre-half Loick Ayina got into a muddle dealing with a high ball forward from Cristian Montano and their hesitation allowed Bruce Anderson to nip in and hook into the empty net.

Goodwin added: “We keep shooting ourselves in the foot. It’s as simple as that. There’s nothing in the game — nothing between the teams at 0-0.

“Then a 60-yard punt up the pitch causes us problems.

“It’s poor decision making and I’m not sure about the level of communication at that point. We were in control of that situation.

“It’s everything we spoke about in the build-up to the game. They [Livingston] are a quick, direct team that gets the ball forward, chase things down and compete well in the middle of the pitch.

“We didn’t get played off the park. We’ve killed ourselves with the goals.”

Livingston manager David Martindale showered praise on striker Anderson for earning his side the pivotal breakthrough goal ‘out of nothing’.

Ian Harkes restored parity just 10 minutes after the opener but James Penrice earned the hosts victory with a 59th-minute winner.

The victory arrests a three-game losing streak for the Lions and leaves them still with a realistic chance of finishing seventh.

Martindale said: “I thought we were passive in the first-half, but we managed to make tweaks to it and that really helped us. The subs really helped us.

“We defended very, very well in the second-half.

“I thought Bruce playing on their back three – that’s his game. The wee man was fantastic, he got us up the park, he got in behind.

“And his goal was fantastic – out of nothing.

“The teams down here have not defended well enough all season and that’s why they are there, so you try and put them under pressure.”