14 Oct Mixu will kick a few backsides at Dundee United – Paton
Dundee United midfielder Paul Paton believes new head coach Mixu Paatelainen will give the United players a kick up the backside they need after a disappointing start to the season.
Paatelainen was announced as United boss on Wednesday and takes over from Jackie McNamara with the Arabs sitting bottom of the table after 10 games.
Paton insists he’s the man who can spark the side into action and turn around their season.
“Now that there is a new manager in, there might be a freshness. Everyone will be motivated and wanting to do well,” he said.
“He’ll maybe kick a few backsides as they way he played he was a big rugged striker so I think he’ll want to add a bit of steel to the team.
“I wouldn’t stand here and criticise my team-mates but as a team we weren’t playing well enough.
“It’s not a false position though. I think we’ve been really poor and we deserve to be down there but we’ve got the character and players to get us out of it.”
Paton praised Paatelainen, who has already made an impression on the midfielder’s team-mates.
“I spoke to the boys and they are really impressed with his first session. I think he outlined his plans for the club and how he wants us to play and I think everyone is buying into that already.
“He won manager of the year in Scotland at Kilmarnock so he’s done well in Scottish football and I’m sure he will do well here.”
Paton himself hasn’t played since last April after undergoing knee surgery and he admits it’s been the hardest part of his career so far.
“I’m halfway through my recovery. I’m six weeks in so after another six weeks I will be back in full training and it can’t come quick enough to be honest,” he said.
“It’s been very frustrating. It’s the most disappointing phase of my career. I’ve missed a lot of international matches after being in and around the Northern Ireland squad.
“It’s really difficult to have to watch from the sidelines with the team going through what they have in the league but I know I’ll come through it stronger.”
On his chances of playing with Northern Ireland who qualified for Euro 2016, he added: “I don’t expect to be there but I’ll kick on with my club and hope to play well enough to be involved. I just want to be playing back with Dundee United.”