Dundee Utd V Motherwell – view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.
Cup final not on McNamara’s mind
Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara is confident his players will focus on their remaining Scottish Premiership campaign despite the attraction of their forthcoming William Hill Scottish Cup final.
The Tayside club welcome Motherwell to Tannadice on Saturday knowing that defeat would mean they cannot qualify for Europe through the league.
McNamara’s side can seal a Europa League place by beating St Johnstone at Celtic Park on May 17, but the former Scotland international is only thinking about points and not silverware.
McNamara said: “We’ll just be taking one game at a time. That’s the approach we’ve had all season and that won’t change.
“Of course the cup final is attracting a lot of attention which is understandable. But we’ve got lots of football to play between now and then, which we’ll be concentrating fully on.
“It’s our aim to pick up as many points as possible in the games which we have left. They’re all going to be tough, starting with Motherwell, but that’s the challenge to the players.
“It’s about trying to get some momentum and seeing where it takes us in the next few weeks.”
Motherwell moved further away from United last weekend by fighting back for a 3-3 draw against champions Celtic, but McNamara has not given up hope of closing the seven-point gap.
“Motherwell are obviously a good side and Stuart McCall has again done a great job there,” he said. “They showed what they’re capable of last weekend by coming back against Celtic to get a draw.
“You could say we’ve got to beat them if we want to have any hope of catching them in the table.
“It will be difficult to catch them but you have to hope in football, and we know what we’re capable of producing on our day.”
Dundee United winger Gary Mackay-Steven is fighting to shake off a calf injury. United are still without Curtis Good after the on-loan Newcastle defender was forced to undergo another scan on his hip injury.
Defender Calum Butcher is out for the season with a broken toe.
James McFadden has returned to training following a hamstring injury as Motherwell bid to secure European football.
Skipper Keith Lasley returns from suspension but fellow midfielders Paul Lawson (Achilles) and Stuart Carswell (knee) remain on the sidelines.
Simon Ramsden is also out of the Scottish Premiership match as he battles for fitness after knee surgery.
Steven Hammell hopes there are many more Motherwell appearances to come as he prepares for his 500th game for the club on Saturday.
The left-back will reach a landmark that is a rarity in the modern game when Motherwell take on Dundee United at Tannadice.
The 32-year-old made his debut against Aberdeen in April 2000 and has reached the 500-mark despite spending an 18-month spell at Southend before rejoining the club in 2008.
Hammell told MFC TV: “It has come around pretty quickly, I can still remember my first game as if it was last season.
“To play that many games for such a special club means a lot to me. It’s a special honour.
“I have had a great time. Every season we continue to do well. It’s a great place to work and everyone is close, whether it’s the office staff or kitchen staff.
“The six years have flown by and hopefully there will be a lot more.”