Dundee Utd: Paatelainen recruits have not impressed Hamish McAlpine

Dundee United appear destined for the drop
Dundee United have won just six Premiership matches this season

Dundee United must improve on their recent recruitment if they drop into the Championship, says club legend Hamish McAlpine.

The Tannadice side are on the brink of relegation, eight points adrift with four games remaining.

And former goalkeeper McAlpine is critical of the players signed by manager Mixu Paatelainen.

"He has brought a lot of his own players in but none of them have impressed me," he told BBC Scotland.

"They have not done much."

Paatelainen took over from Jackie McNamara in October but has been unable to galvanise the team despite bringing in experienced out-of-contract quartet; Gavin Gunning, Guy Demel, Florent Sinama Pongolle and Eiji Kawashima.

Loan signings Kyle Knoyle and Riku Riski followed in January, while John Souttar and Ryan McGowan were sold, with striker Edward Ofere arriving in February.

United have picked up just six league wins this season and McAlpine believes Paatelainen must shoulder responsibility for such a poor run.

"You have got to look at the manager," he said.

"If he is putting them out there and they are not playing as a team, then he shouldn't be putting them out there.

"He should be looking at guys who are wanting to play and wanting to help their mates. If some players are making comments, then the others must see it. Why has nothing been done about it?"

Hamish McAlpine
McAlpine spent 20 years at Tannadice from 1966 to 1986

United were last relegated in 1995, making an immediate return to the top flight via a play-off.

But McAlpine warns that a season in the Championship will be "a battle".

"They are going to have to get the right players for that and better than what is there," said the 68-year-old. "It's going to be a tough league to get out of.

"Take Rangers out and it is a very tight league, and Hibs and Falkirk could still be in there. It is going to be hard.

"They are going to have to get the right players in, have the right attitude and roll up their sleeves from the word go."

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