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Dundee United's Defensive Dilemma

Craig Levein is hoping that defender Darren Dods will agree to join Dundee United, but thinks it wont be until next season before the 31-year-old puts on the Tangerine jersey.

In the meantime, Levein still wants to sign another couple of defenders, because he's very unhappy with the current United defence and the number of goals they've been leaking in recent matches.

Although, the 5-1 and 5-0 defeats to both Falkirk and Rangers respectively are just the tip of the iceberg, because the defending in many matches since Levein's arrival hasn't impressed the former Hearts and Leicester City boss.

"It's no secret that I've been unhappy with our defending and I'm not just talking about the last two games. It's been the same story in a number of the games we've won," said Levein.

"There have been a lot of individual mistakes."

Levein thinks that Dundee United need a player like Steven Pressley who can command the defence and stop some of the silly defensive mistakes that have cost the side far too many goals already this season.

"I did try for Steven Pressley when he became available, but, as I always suspected, we were priced out of that. It is, though, that type of player we need and I am looking to bring one in this week."

Levien is hoping that Christian Kalvenes will recovered from his knee injury later this week and that might mean the defender will be throw straight back into the 1st team side for the trip to Kilmarnock on Saturday.

Lee Wilkie has just returned from his loan deal at Ross County, but can't play against Saint Mirren because of competition rules, but Levein has said he will be part of his plans for the SPL game against Killie.

Whilst Lee Mair will also be available at the weekend, after missing the 5-0 Rangers defeat through suspension.

Levein continued, "It looks like for Saturday I will have the full-backs I want and that is something."

"In terms of fitness from Saturday, I think the only problem will be bruised egos and I definitely want a reaction from the ones who are playing (against St Mirren)."

"After losing five to Falkirk and giving them the benefit of the doubt, I thought I would get that against Rangers, but I didn't."

"That was my lowest point in management and the first time I have lost five goals in back to back games. What hurt even more was that it was a game we started well and showed it was one we could have won.

"Rangers were there for the taking, but we lacked the belief to go on and win. Then, when something went wrong there was a collapse and that is something I cannot tolerate.

"As a footballer, things do not always go the way you want them to and when that happens you have to be able to cope - on Saturday that did not happen."

With money still tight at Tannadice, Levein might not be able to buy the defender he thinks his side desperately needs, but the club might stretch to a loan deal.

"We have a verbal agreement with Darren (Dods), but haven't reached the stage where he has put pen to paper.

"Even if he is coming here though I don't think it'll happen until the summer, so I am actively seeking to bring someone in for that position."

"A loan, to get us through to the end of the season, would be ideal."

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The Journalist

Writer: Arab Jacques Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday January 16 2007

Time: 12:00PM

 

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