Any team with genuine designs on lifting the title must exhibit ruthless home form. Nobody knows that better than Fraser Fyvie, the Dundee United skipper, who issued a timely challenge to his team-mates to transform Tannadice into a fortress.
Fyvie spoke out after he bravely rescued a point for the Taysiders with a 62nd-minute penalty, the highlight of a much-improved second-half effort triggered largely by the introduction of new signing Aidan Nesbitt, who injected the spark they had been crying out forl.
Fyvie feels Robbie Neilson’s Championship hopefuls have lacked a mean streak at home, and that was in evidence again in this latest setback against Gary Caldwell’s visitors who are currently haunted by the spectre of relegation.
Although they have steadied matters since Neilson replaced former manager Csaba Laszlo, United have won only once in their last six league outings and are preparing to have their credentials tested again when Dunfermline visit this weekend.
This was one of those missed opportunities. They did succeed in closing the gap on Ross County to six points following the leaders’ defeat at Morton on Friday night as well as moving closer to Ayr United who suffered a surprising loss at home to Falkirk, but failure to capitalise altogether left their captain exasperated.
“Look, if we want to have any intent of challenging Ross County and Ayr United to win the league we need to start scoring goals and winning games,” said Fyvie, pictured, having heard the disgruntlement among the home support after the final whistle.
“It’s obvious. We need to be winning football games. “It would also help to turn Tannadice into a fortress. Home form is crucial if you want to win leagues and we let the fans down a little bit here.
“They were getting on our backs – quite rightly. But we should have won the game with our second-half performance. We were just not clinical enough.”
It was a bitter-sweet kind of day for Thistle who couldn’t have played much better but still returned to the foot of the Championship courtesy of Falkirk’s victory.
Steven Saunders, one of their new signings who acquitted himself admirably on his debut, is relishing their scrap for survival which takes centre-stage next week when they meet relegation rivals Falkirk at Firhill. The former Scotland star strolled through his Jags debut and says he can’t wait to help haul Caldwell’s men to safety.
“You want to play in big games and with the situation we find ourselves in, every game is massive, especially against Falkirk,” he said. “Hopefully we can start climbing the league. We’ll have a full week’s training this week and hopefully we can nail down that first half and get a good 90 minutes.”