Dundee Utd V St Johnstone at Tannadice Park : Match Preview

23 August 2013 05:31
Dundee Utd V St Johnstone - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

McNamara calls for courage

Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara has urged his side to be brave when St Johnstone visit Tannadice in the Scottish Premiership match.

The Tayside club lost their last home league encounter to Inverness a fortnight ago, which led to McNamara admitting they needed to show their mettle more in front of their home supporters.

Now they have a chance to make amends as Tommy Wright's in-form St Johnstone visit them this weekend and McNamara wants to see his own team take responsibility from the first whistle.

McNamara said: "We'll be looking to do better than we did against Inverness, both in terms of the performance and the result.

"What was most disappointing that day was the manner of our defeat when we weren't brave enough on the ball.

"That's something we'd like to change and if we can get the ball down and play we know we can cause other teams problems.

"That's what we're all about. We're not about trying to win second balls.

"We need to knock the ball around and give ourselves a chance of doing what we're good at."

McNamara knows their Tayside rivals have made an impressive start to the new campaign.

But he's challenged his own players to focus on their own game and try to end their home hoodoo.

He said: "Saints have looked good so far this season.

"They showed that when they did well in Europe only to go out in unfortunate circumstances.

"But as always we'll be concentrating on our own jobs.

"From the back right through to up front, we have to be confident in ourselves.

"We played much better at Easter Road last week and although we only got a draw, the signs were more encouraging.

"We have to take that into this weekend's game and hopefully get the three points and start making Tannadice a harder place for teams to come to."

Defender Gavin Gunning is suspended for the Tangerines following his sending-off against Hibs last Saturday.

But new signing Mark Wilson is set to be included in the squad after he signed a short-term deal earlier this week.

Murray Davidson has set his sights on repeating the form that put Ross County to the sword after refusing to let St Johnstone's season be defined by their European exit.

Saints have been quick to bounce back from their Europa League penalty shoot-out defeat by FC Minsk by earning a hard-fought point at Kilmarnock and then thrashing Ross County 4-0.

There was real disappointment at McDiarmid Park after St Johnstone missed a number of chances following their win in Belarus as they failed to build on their surprise win over Rosenborg.

But they have put that behind them and travel to Tannadice still unbeaten in the Scottish Premiership.

Midfielder Davidson said: "Obviously we went out of Europe but the boys can take a lot of positives from that and seven points out of nine in the league. It's up to us to build on that start.

"It was good that we had to play Kilmarnock on the Sunday because there was no time to dwell on the European defeat.

"We had to make a lot of changes with the game going to extra-time. That looks like a good point now looking back.

"We made a few changes again on Saturday and put in a very good team performance to beat a team who had a very good season.

"There was no time to dwell on it and it's out the system now. All the focus is on Dundee United."

Gary McDonald returns to the Saints squad after recovering from a head knock.

And both Davidson and Frazer Wright have shaken off knocks to declare themselves fit.

Goalkeeper Alan Mannus (shoulder) remains out while midfielder David Robertson has started training with the Under-20s after recovering from his broken leg.

Source: PA