Kenneth: First goal will be key

31 October 2009 03:34
The Tannadice players have struggled to get going at the start of games recently so manager Craig Levein held a long chat with his playing staff on Wednesday.

During this, he stressed the importance of kicking off matches strongly and defender Kenneth insists his words have been taken on board.

He said: "After the St Johnstone game, we had a chat and the gaffer pointed out there has been times we've only started playing once we've gone behind.

"That's not acceptable so we've got to make sure we're at it from the very start on Sunday.

"When you play one of the Old Firm, getting the first goal is often crucial so we'll be doing everything we can to keep the door shut at one end and hopefully punish them at the other.

"I'd say Rangers are a better team than they give themselves credit for at the moment. But that doesn't make them unbeatable.

"We're at home, in front of our own fans and everyone is confident we can get a result."

Levein celebrated three years at Tannadice yesterday and insists he has loved every minute of life at the club.

The former Hearts and Leicester boss kept United up in his first season before leading them into the top six and the 2007 League Cup final.

He has attained cult hero status among the club's fans and admits he is content in his job at Tannadice - although knows there is plenty work still to be done.

He said: "The last three years have flown by.

"I've really enjoyed it. I like the club and the people.

"There is a good feeling about the place and I've got a great relationship with the fans.

"Things have moved on in the last three years, so much so that our expectations are higher.

"We've brought in a lot of players and I believe there are ones who have come here from lower leagues and are worth a lot of money now.

"We're within touching distance of the top of the table and I think that, if we can get everyone back, we'll improve further."

Levein would dearly love to claim another Tannadice victory over the Gers but is wary of Walter Smith's beleaguered side.

He said: "It's a coincidence that we're playing Rangers three years on and if it's the same result I'd be delighted.

"It has been some three years for both clubs. Obviously, we've overhauled things here but Rangers have also gone through a lot of changes.

"Paul Le Guen was the manager in that first game but, since then, they've appointed Walter and he gave them a massive lift.

"They've not had their troubles to seek in recent weeks but for me that makes them dangerous.

"They are a wounded animal at the moment and we all know that when a club like Rangers gets criticised, they come out fighting.

"With Walter in charge, they have a man with loads of experience who can lead them through this."

United have a doubt over goalkeeper Nicky Weaver, who has a thigh strain, and it Is likely he will have a fitness test on Sunday morning.

Former Hearts man Steve Banks is waiting in the wings to take over if necessary.

Source: Team_Talk

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