Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara insists taking the heat off David Goodwillie is the key to the striker recapturing his best form in a Tangerine jersey.
The on-loan Blackburn player was left on the bench for United’s emphatic 4-2 win away to Ross County last Sunday as he strives to hit top gear following his move back to the Arabs in the summer.
Goodwillie, a hero of United’s 2010 Scottish Cup-winning team, hasn’t found it easy since arriving back north of the border after a lack of first-team football at Ewood Park. But McNamara is prepared to play his part in rejuvenating the 24-year-old fans’ favourite.
He said: “There is a lot of pressure on David. So it’s my job to try to take that off him a bit too. The good thing is that the goals are being spread around the team so there’s not as much pressure on him to be the only person to put the ball in the net.
“We’re all hoping that he’ll kick on, but the most important thing is the team and getting the right results.
“I really hope that a couple of goals can kick-start Goodie. What he now needs to do is get his confidence back and get back playing again. That’s the most important thing.
“He’s played six games and scored one goal against St Johnstone. It does take time. And there is definitely an expectation level when it comes to David and what he did in his first spell here.”
McNamara’s decision to ring the changes paid off big-style as United were convincing winners in Dingwall and he won’t shirk from shuffling his pack again. He said: “We made a few changes and thankfully it worked well. It’s a team game and that’s the way it has to be for us. That’s why we brought Ryan Gauld back into the starting line-up and he obviously did ever so well.”
McNamara revealed yesterday that English stopper Calum Butcher missed the win in the Highlands after being struck down by a flu bug. He said: “Calum wasn’t well so that’s why he didn’t feature against Ross County. He didn’t travel with us so wasn’t involved at all.
“Everyone else is fine though and in good spirits after the weekend.”