BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
Dundee United boss Mixu Paatelainen has found himself an unlikely ally in his battle against relegation after Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson backed the big Finn to pull off a great escape.
Paatelainen takes his embattled Terrors to Tynecastle this evening desperately seeking just their third league win of the season after finding themselves cut adrift art the foot of the Premiership.
The former Hibs striker has won just one of his nine matches at the helm since replacing Jackie McNamara and has publicly criticised the former boss and his current players.
Nevertheless, Neilson firmly believes United will heavily reinforce next month and fully expects them to be a top flight club next season.
A former United player himself, Neilson said: “They’re a good club and, although they are in a difficult position just now, I genuinely don’t think they’ll go down.
“I think Mixu will strengthen in the January window and I think the chairman will back him. They will bring players in and get a lift from that. They aren’t too far away at the moment.
“With the players they have and the ones I would expect them to bring in, they can put a run together and get themselves out of that group because they’re a big club.
“They are ten points behind so you’re looking at four wins. Look what Ross County did last year when Jim McIntyre came in. He brought in a few players and moved a lot out – he got the opportunity to change things.
“If you’re a manager coming in and you get that January window and you get backed, then you’ve got a chance. If you come in after the window then it’s very difficult to change things.”