Micky Mellon is adapting his mother’s soup-making philosophy in his bid to develop his Dundee United squad.
The United boss admitted that he is “not actively pursuing anybody” in the January transfer window amid an increasingly fraught financial landscape caused by the Covid-19 crisis.
Ahead of the visit of St Mirren on Wednesday night, Mellon insisted his focus was on the players already at Tannadice.
He said: “At the start of the season, I said I had a group of players who I was trying to make better and give time to grow.
“Development is all about time so you have to give it time.
“Like my mam said yesterday, ‘you have to give soup time son, you can’t go eating it too quickly’.
“So I am trying to give the soup a bit of time to get better and better.
“I have a group of young players who need time to grow. I am strong with them, I know how to make them better.
“I expect good standards and good ambition every day and that is what I am attacking.
“So I haven’t gone to the owners or (sporting director) Tony (Asghar) and actively said, ‘I want this’ because I believe every position I have got pathways to look after.
“We are a real strong squad in terms of our academy. If you want an academy to work you have to look at opportunities to bring them through.
“Now if I keep blocking that path, what would be the point of an academy?
“Of course, Dundee United need to keep winning games, we all know that because it is a demanding fan base which I don’t mind.
“But I will keep strong and know what the process is of trying to make the club better and that will be through the academy or make the ones I have got better.
“Or until such a time that somebody springs up and I go to the powers that be and say ‘that fits, is it do-able?’ – but I have never done that.”
It has been reported that the Dundee United Supporters’ Foundation (DUSF) have been asked to make a second investment of £100,000 to help ease the financial burden as football continues to be played behind closed doors.
Staff, including Mellon and his players, have already agreed to take pay cuts.
The United boss, who insists he does not have to sell anyone, said: “I think every club will be the same.
“I haven’t asked the owner but I would imagine (having) no fans (in the stands) is making every club struggle at the minute.
“Every club is now feeling the full force of this pandemic financially. I think if you went to the owner of every club, I think they would say the same.
“We are having to find fan money here, we are having to find secondary spend money here because nobody is coming to games and we have to do the best we can until we get the fans back in and financially grow again.”