Dundee Utd V St Johnstone at Tannadice Park : Match Preview

11 March 2014 05:31
Dundee Utd V St Johnstone - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

United taking it one game at a time

Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara insists his side will not get carried away with their recent run of fine form ahead of Wednesday night's Scottish Premiership clash with St Johnstone at Tannadice.

The Tayside club are on a roll with five straight wins under their belts and have a Scottish Cup semi-final to look forward to after beating Inverness 5-0 in last Sunday's quarter-final tie.

Their next test comes in the form of Tommy Wright's Saints and McNamara knows his side will not get ahead of themselves.

McNamara said: "We'll just be treating this game as we do any other one.

"We're on a good run right now but won't be taking anything for granted.

"Even when we were on that good run before Christmas we didn't get too high and that will be the same this time. We won't be looking too far ahead between now and the end of the season.

"It's just one game at a time as far as we're concerned and giving St Johnstone our full focus is what we'll be doing."

United face either Rangers or Albion Rovers in the cup semi-final but McNamara maintains they will not let their attention turn towards that last-four tie until nearer the time.

He said: "We can think of that when the time comes.

"But in the meantime, we're thinking of the league and trying to keep things going.

"It's great to be in the semi-final of the cup and it's all credit to the players. But we have a very tough league match on Wednesday night which will get our full attention.

"St Johnstone are never easy opponents and we know it will be a very tough 90 minutes," added McNamara, who nevertheless is optimistic about his side's chances.

He said: "The lads can go into it confident as we believe we can beat anyone on our day. We have to stick to doing what we're good at and hopefully get another positive result.

"It's nice when things are going well and you want to continue that for as long as possible."

Meanwhile, United teenager Ryan Gauld could be back in the squad after missing out through injury in recent weeks. Gauld has been laid low by a hip problem but is back in contention for the first team.

Defender John Souttar is still out with an Achilles injury, while on-loan Newcastle defender Curtis Good is out for around four to six weeks with a hip strain he picked up while playing against Ecuador in a friendly last week.

Tommy Wright has told his St Johnstone players to forget the prospect of cup glory to continue in their quest for a top-six finish.

The Perth club were drawn on Sunday to face Aberdeen in the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-finals next month.

Saints were beaten 4-0 by the Dons in the Scottish League Cup semi-final at Tynecastle at the end of January and inevitably there will be talk of revenge in the coming week as the McDiarmid Park side get another chance to win the first major trophy in the club's history.

However, Wright is focused only on remaining in the top half of the table.

His side are in sixth place, nine points behind Inverness, who have played a game less, and two points ahead of Hibernian, who have played a game more.

"No matter who came out of the hat it would have been a tough draw and we just have to deal with that when it comes around," the Northern Irishman told Press Association Sport.

"But I haven't given it much thought other than we can do better against Aberdeen.

"Our focus is on the league and that is all I will concentrate on until that comes around.

"We must cement that top-six place and it is getting tough.

"So we just cannot have any thoughts about the cup. Our only focus is league games and trying to get in the top-six.

"One or two wins for us will make a big difference. We have to try to pick up as many points as possible at this stage of the season.

"The next game is the most important one. Hopefully we will go to Dundee United and get something."

Saints lost 4-0 at Tannadice last August before beating United 3-0 at McDiarmid Park in December.

However, Wright is aware that Jackie McNamara's side, sitting in fourth place, are back on form, unbeaten in six games and full of confidence after qualifying for the William Hill Scottish Cup semis on Sunday with a 5-0 thrashing of Inverness at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium.

He said: "It is going to be a difficult game but we know if we go about it in the right manner we can get a result."

Source: PA

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