Dundee Utd V Aberdeen at Tannadice Park : Match Preview

05 April 2013 07:01
Dundee Utd V Aberdeen - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Tangerines maintain focus

Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara has insisted they will be fully focused on their Clydesdale Bank Premier League match with Aberdeen at Tannadice.

The Tangerines are relying on rivals Dundee to do them a favour against Kilmarnock if they are to secure a top-six slot going into their final pre-split fixture with the Dons.

McNamara said: "It's one of those ones where results elsewhere could dictate things, but we can't afford to think like that.

"We only ever focus on our own thing and that won't change with this game. We know things could still change and we have a chance of getting into the top-six.

"That's all that matters as far as we're concerned.

"We will never give up. As long as there's a possibility we will keep going and that's how it has to be."

McNamara is hoping for the United fans to turn out in numbers and play their part in the contest.

He added: "We want to give the fans a good end to the season.

"We need their backing which the players appreciate.

"They can certainly make a difference and haven't been able to celebrate enough home wins this season.

"We want that to change in the home games between now and the end of the season, and there's no better time than against Aberdeen this weekend.

"These are always tough games. Aberdeen are well-drilled under Craig Brown and we know it will be a very hard 90 minutes."

United winger Gary Mackay-Steven remains doubtful with his hamstring injury although McNamara is refusing to rule him out.

He said: "We'll monitor Gary Mackay-Steven to see if he has any chance for the weekend.

"Gary is still very doubtful. If there was no chance of us getting into the top-six then we wouldn't even have thought about risking him.

"But it's important for the whole club to get into the to-six that we can't just rule him out.

"He's been doing some light jogging so we'll see how he is."

Defender Brian McLean is out after twisting his knee against St Johnstone on Monday and midfielder Stuart Armstrong is suspended, but midfield playmaker John Rankin returns from his ban.

Craig Brown admits he regrets not being able to lead Aberdeen to a cup final before he retires - but he feels reaching the top six against the odds could be a fairytale finale.

The 72-year-old takes charge of his final game before making way for Derek McInnes and the Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash at Tannadice is a must-win match for both teams.

Even then the winners need Kilmarnock to drop points at home to bottom club Dundee to ensure a top-six finish.

Brown said: "Normally it would be a very good fixture, the local derby, but it's now even more important because there could be something at stake.

"If Kenny Shiels' team does its job with a home victory it won't matter really, but it will matter for us from a point of view of pride and eventual league position so it's a good end to the season.

"It's not as good as we would have hoped but it's acceptable.

"We have to say Kilmarnock are favourites, then Dundee United with home advantage, then ourselves and Hibernian.

"It's a cup final. We've got to try and get a victory. We have to go and challenge them to defend because we're very good when we attack and United will know that."

When asked about the prospect of going out on a high with the help of former club Dundee, Brown said: "It would perhaps be a fairytale, but I think it's not out of the bounds of possibility.

"I thought at one point with the fixtures in front of me, that it was a possibility Kilmarnock could end up with two draws.

"If you were a betting man you would bet on Kilmarnock, but what we have to do is make sure that Aberdeen are the team that will be there if they slip up."

Aberdeen hope to have Gary Naysmith and Jonny Hayes in their squad.

Hayes went off with a swollen knee against Hearts last weekend while Naysmith is hopeful of a return from injury.

Isaac Osbourne, Andrew Considine, Stephen Hughes and Chris Clark remain out.

Source: PA

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Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
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