Ross County V Dundee Utd at Victoria Park : Match Preview

25 April 2013 05:31
Ross County V Dundee Utd - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Millar returns for United

Dundee United midfielder Mark Millar returns from suspension for the Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash with Ross County.

Full-back Keith Watson could also come in after missing last week's defeat by Motherwell with a knock.

Gavin Gunning (knee) and Johnny Russell (fractured leg) remain on the sidelines.

Dundee United winger Gary Mackay-Steven insists he is happy to stay put at Tannadice after watching two former team-mates discover the grass is not always greener down south.

The Scotland Under-21 international is one of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League's hottest properties and has capped a sensational season with a nomination for the Cheque Centre PFA Scotland young player of the year award.

His dazzling ball skills have already attracted attention from npower Championship side Huddersfield, who failed with a combined #1.25million bid for the 22-year-old and team-mate Johnny Russell last summer.

Russell was the subject of another #380,000 bid by Italian outfit Catania earlier this month that was also knocked back and Mackay-Steven says he is in no rush to move on.

Former Arabs colleagues Scott Allan and David Goodwillie - now at West Brom and Blackburn - both quit the SPL hoping to progress their careers south of the border.

But neither player has found life in England easier, leaving Mackay-Steven to insist: "I'm not thinking about moving on. I just take every game as it comes and I'm quite happy here.

"We've got a great young team that has been doing well and I feel quite settled, so I'm definitely enjoying my football.

"The main thing is to be happy and enjoying your football, which I am at United. Things are going well so, definitely, the grass isn't always greener elsewhere."

United's 3-1 defeat to Motherwell last Friday leaves Jackie McNamara's men seven points behind third-placed Inverness and with only an outside chance of pinching the final Europa League slot with four games remaining. But Mackay-Steven remains hopeful.

"There is a chance we could still get into Europe," he said.

"There's not many games left and it's tight from third down to sixth. But if we can get a little run together from now until the end of the season that would be great and a Europa League place would be an added bonus."

Defender Branislav Micic is out of for Ross County after dislocating his shoulder.

Micic will see a specialist on Friday but left-back Evangelos Ikonomou has recovered from the back problem that forced him off against St Johnstone and centre-back Scott Boyd returns from suspension.

Goalkeeper Mark Brown remains on the sidelines with a fractured hand.

Ross County manager Derek Adams believes there is more drama to come in the race for Europe.

Motherwell could clinch one of the two places on offer in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League this weekend and County's 2-2 draw with St Johnstone last Sunday left third-placed Inverness in a strong position.

Caley Thistle are four points in front of Saints ahead of their trip to Perth on Saturday, with County a further point adrift.

But Ross County can put the pressure on their Highland rivals by beating Dundee United in Dingwall and Adams is determined to stay in touch with Inverness ahead of the derby on the final day of the campaign on May 19.

"If we can keep it tight between Dundee United, St Johnstone, Inverness and ourselves, it will be an interesting finish to the SPL campaign," Adams said.

"It's great that we talk about it in that way, but Inverness have had a fantastic season - it looks like they will win the race to play in Europe next season. But if we win on the Friday night then it puts a lot of pressure on them going to the Saturday's game."

County go into the game two points ahead of United but they have not beaten their Tayside opponents since the first competitive meeting between the teams 15 years ago.

"We have played well in spells against them, but we have found it difficult to win against them," Adams said.

"They've had the upper hand against us over a number of times we have played them (when we were) in the First Division and in the Second Division, and we have played them in a Scottish Cup final in 2010, and this season as well.

"But we have home advantage and we have to use that and try to get the victory - because we need the victory now to put the pressure on Inverness in that European position."

Source: PA

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