Dundee Utd V Inverness CT at Tannadice Park : Match Preview

14 December 2012 06:01
Dundee Utd V Inverness CT - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Douglas delighted with performances

Dundee United left-back Barry Douglas is aiming to continue his improvement by hitting the goal trail - but he will be content to keep supplying the goals.

The former Queen's Park player set up fellow full-back Keith Watson for the opening goal in last weekend's 3-0 derby win at Dens Park and played a hand in several more during United's 5-0 William Hill Scottish Cup win at Stranraer the previous week.

Douglas has not scored since a 3-3 draw with St Johnstone in August 2011 but he is relishing the freedom to get forward and supply Jon Daly and Johnny Russell with crosses.

"Hopefully goals will come as well, I have been unlucky with a few free-kicks," the 23-year-old said. "But I just need to keep supplying, as long as someone else is scoring the goals.

"The gaffer preaches me and Keith to get forward and put balls in. If we don't put balls in they won't score."

Douglas, whose team host Inverness, has made the left-back position his own after previously being kept out by Scotland international Paul Dixon, who left for Huddersfield in the summer.

Douglas was a regular in his first season at Tannadice after moving from Hampden in the summer of 2010, often playing in midfield, but he only made three more appearances after November last season.

"I am happy with the way I'm playing," he said. "I have always had belief in my ability, I just needed a chance to play and finally I am reaping the benefits and setting up goals.

"Every game I feel I am getting more confident and long may it last.

"I missed nearly a full year because Dicko has done so well. Doubt is going to creep into it, but I just kept believing and kept patient for my chance, and it was up to me to take it.

"It was hard not playing but you just need to get your head down and get on with it. It would be easy to spit the dummy out but you can't do that in this game."

Inverness visit Tannadice in second place in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League having scored in every game this season, including four against United in September, and Douglas aims to put a stop to that run.

Douglas said: "It gives us a great challenge, especially being defenders. We want to keep a clean sheet and we know we'll get chances up the other end."

Inverness boss Terry Butcher has no fresh injuries.

Second-placed Caley travel to Tayside on the back of an impressive run of form which has brought just one defeat in their last 16 matches.

Nick Ross (shoulder) and Simon King (ankle) are moving toward a comeback, while defender Chris Hogg remains out with a knee injury.

Butcher will get a welcome reminder of the day his side's fortunes turned this season.

The Highlanders had failed to win any of their first seven Clydesdale Bank Premier League games and were languishing second-bottom when United visited Tulloch Caledonian Stadium at the end of September.

A shock 4-0 win for the home side, thanks to a first-half double by skipper Richie Foran and goals after the break by Andrew Shinnie and Philip Roberts, stopped the rot.

Inverness have since lost only one game in 16 and, as well as climbing to second in the SPL behind Celtic, have booked a Scottish Communities League Cup semi-final clash against Hearts and reached the latter stages of the William Hill Scottish Cup.

Butcher recalls the day when his side's fortunes turned.

He said: "Dundee United started off the game pretty well and for the first half an hour it was nip and tuck and then all of a sudden Richie scored two goals that have us a good half-time lead and we were able to build on that in the second half and run out 4-0 winners.

"We actually played well in the first seven games and had five points but hadn't had a win.

"We played well in some of those draws and were unlucky not to get the first victory but when the first win did come against United it certainly lifted everybody.

"It made everybody more confident, we had more belief and we knew that we were on the right track.

"We had a couple of wins right away after that and we zoomed up the table and we haven't looked back since then.

"So it might have been the turning point, the spark that we needed, but it was certainly welcome.

"It is nice to be able to play them again and it does whet the appetite."

Source: PA