Despite reaching the third round of the Scottish League Cup and a tie with Partick Thistle, McNamara's United side do not appear to have presented him with the evidence he requires to settle on the best way to compensate for the departures of strikers Jon Daly and Johnny Russell.
David Goodwillie is back on loan from Blackburn Rovers at no little expense but he has looked short of confidence, with his overall play inconsistent at best. Brian Graham, has also arrived from Raith Rovers but spurned his chances to score in Wednesday's League Cup meeting with Dumbarton. The same cannot be said of Ciftci, though.
Coming on as a substitute with his side trailing to Dumbarton, the Turkish forward scored twice and set up Ryan Gauld for another goal to force United into the third round draw. That was made at Easter Road yesterday, with the visit of Thistle to Tannadice among the more intriguing ties. Queen of the South's reward for putting out holders St Mirren is another compelling match as they travel to play Hearts, while St Johnstone will face SPFL Championship leaders Hamilton Academical.
The draw will have given occasion for the clubs involved to consider the value of their ties, but the Scottish Government has also announced a £650,000 package of support which has been linked to the competition. The funding is intended to help clubs manage community projects.
"Football clubs do so much in their communities," said Shona Robison, the sports minister. "Our support will help clubs expand their community engagement programmes to get even more people of all ages involved, whether by playing football, using club facilities to get active or giving young people new skills."
Ciftci used the Bet Butler Stadium to show off his. The 21-year-old has made a timid start to the campaign - he was taken off at half-time in a draw against Thistle on the opening night of the league season - and since then has played little more than a bit-part role. It would perhaps be a brave move for McNamara to offer Ciftci a start against the league champions, but Mark Wilson is convinced that his team-mate will be a success in the Premiership.
"Nadir ran the channels well and got the goals his play deserved," said the United full-back, who was also given his first start in the cup since returning to Tayside on a contract until January. "I don't think he has had too many chances since coming here. He had to catch the manager's eye and he did that [on Wednesday].
"He looks a decent asset for United and appears suited to the Scottish game. He is strong and fast, but he possesses that wee bit of skill and flair as well."
Those are attributes which Aberdeen might feel they are lacking after it was confirmed that Willo Flood will be out for six weeks with a hamstring injury - causing him to miss a third round tie with Falkirk - although Hibernian are close to bringing in Ipswich Town winger Josh Carson.
All that Morton will be able to strengthen is their resolve, though, with the Greenock club drawn to face Celtic in the third round of the cup. It was news which has enlivened the Championship side, even if their opponents might not have paid it much attention yesterday.
"Celtic will have concentrated on the Champions League draw, they've probably not even noticed the cup one," said David O'Brien, the Morton winger. "I watched Celtic's game against Shakhter [Karagandy] and it is daunting to think we'll be going there. If Celtic turn it on, you've got no chance. But I played there once before with Dundee - if you go there and do yourself justice, you at least come off thinking 'that was great'."