Dundee Utd V Celtic at Tannadice Park : Match Preview

18 May 2013 05:01
Dundee Utd V Celtic - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

McNamara calls for strong finish

Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara has challenged his players to finish the season on a high in their Clydesdale Bank Premier League match with champions Celtic.

The Tangerines host Neil Lennon's side in Sunday's televised encounter looking to bow out on a high after the disappointment of missing out on a European slot.

And McNamara wants them to give it one last big push in front of their own fans as they bid to pick up the three points in their final-day clash.

McNamara said: "We want to go for the three points.

"We're at home and we'll give it everything to try and get the victory we want to round off the season.

"I've told the players to go and enjoy it as it's the last game of the season and there's no real pressure as such.

"It's obviously still a big ask.

"We've got a lot of players still missing especially in defence which will make it tough.

"But we want to go for it all the same and have nothing to lose.

"We know on our day we can match anyone so hopefully the lads can do that again."

Striker Johnny Russell could miss the visit of champions Celtic as he feels stiff after his return from a broken leg.

And long-term absentees Gavin Gunning and Sean Dillon are still missing for the Arabs.

However, Keith Watson and Barry Douglas could be in contention after injury.

Defender Charlie Mulgrew will miss out for Celtic with a knee injury.

Right-back Adam Matthews is a major doubt for the trip to Tayside after picking up a knock.

Striker Lassad Nouioui is still out with a calf injury.

Celtic defender Kelvin Wilson is exhausted after the longest season of his career but knows he will not get enough time to recuperate in the summer.

The 27-year-old defender has already played 48 times this season in which he secured his second Clydesdale Bank Premier League championship medal and a passport to the Champions League for next season again.

The Englishman and the rest of the Celtic players, though, have to play three Champions League qualifiers, the first of which comes in the middle of July.

Consequently, the Hoops squad will be back for pre-season training in late June, around a month after their William Hill Scottish Cup final against Hibernian which takes place next week and which, along with the early return for next season, prompted manager Neil Lennon to give several his star players, including Wilson, some time off recently.

Ahead of the final SPL game of the season, the Parkhead defender spoke of his fatigue.

"It is a physical sport and I am starting to feel it a bit," he said.

"It was nice to get that break and I benefited from it.

"I think we needed it but we probably needed more than 10 days.

"It (break before returning) is not enough but there is nothing we can do about it.

"The fitness people here will try to manage it as best they can but it is not enough, but you've got to do what you've got to do.

"We can't moan about it, other teams will have to come back for the qualifiers so we will just get on with it.

"We will deal with it, we will be fine."

Source: PA