Dundee United boss Ray McKinnon wants striker for promotion push

Ray McKinnon
Ray McKinnon takes his side to face league leaders Hibs on Friday
Scottish Championship: Hibernian v Dundee United
Date: Friday, 6 January Venue: Easter Road Stadium, Edinburgh Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Coverage: Watch on BBC Alba, listen on BBC Radio Scotland

Dundee United manager Ray McKinnon hopes to add at least a striker to his squad but expects a challenging January transfer window.

United slipped to second in the Scottish Championship on Saturday after losing at Dumbarton and trail Hibernian by a point.

Hibs host the Tangerines on Friday evening.

"It's quite difficult at this time of year to find the right person," McKinnon, 46, told BBC Scotland.

"We're actively looking to strengthen the squad if we can. We'll take our time and if it takes us a week or two, we'll be patient.

"It's important that we do maybe add one player at least up front to give some competition."

Dundee United celebrate
United were briefly top of the Championship after beating Hibernian early last month

McKinnon was asked if former Tannadice favourite Nadir Ciftci - currently at Celtic - was a target.

"There's lots of names that we're looking at," the manager replied.

"There's lots of people we'd like to try and bring in if possible but some things are very, very difficult at this time of year."

A former Dundee United midfielder, McKinnon helped the Tangerines win promotion in 1995.

Last summer, he left Raith Rovers, after they lost in the Premiership play-offs, to replace Mixu Paatelainen at Tannadice after United had been relegated.

"We're ahead of schedule," he explained. "There was a huge rebuild on this year. I think 20 players left Dundee United in the summer.

"We had to go and recruit and that's never easy to rebuild a squad in about six weeks. I've got to give the boys credit. They got us to the top of the league. We're a point behind Hibs. That's a good squad we've put together.

"If we can add to that then hopefully we can give ourselves a chance this season.

"Financially for the club [promotion] would be fantastic.

"Everybody understands the challenge this division brings. Rangers spent two years here. Hibs are in their third year down here. It's not an easy league to get out of."

Of Friday's match, McKinnon added: "There's no doubt it's a big game. We knew that when the fixtures came out. It's early in the season. No matter what happens after Friday night, there's a lot to play for.

"They're tight games. There's good players on both teams. I'm pretty certain it'll be an interesting game."

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