Dundee Utd V Partick – view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.
McNamara not taking Thistle lightly
Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara insists his players will show Partick Thistle every respect when they roll up at Tannadice for Saturday’s Premiership clash.
The Tangerines welcome Alan Archibald’s side to Tayside as they attempt to return to winning ways following their defeat by Kilmarnock before the international break.
United were sitting top of the table until they went down 2-0 at Killie a fortnight ago and, although they have aspirations to be competing near the summit, McNamara is adamant his team will not be taking his former club Thistle lightly.
“We know Thistle are a threat,” he said. “They are a very hard-working side who’ve shown what they can do already this season.
“So we know it will be a tough game which we will have to focus on 100 per cent to get the three points.
“That’s what we’re obviously going out to get after the disappointment of the Kilmarnock game and the manner in which we played.
“That’s in the past, though, and it’s about how we respond, although Partick will try and make life as difficult for us as possible.”
United have had to be patient as they bid to get back on a high with no game last weekend.
But McNamara feels his side are approaching the visit of the Jags in the right frame of mind to make amends for their off-day at Killie.
He said: “It’s always frustrating when you have a defeat and aren’t able to do something about it right away.
“That’s part of football and we’ve just had to cope with that.
“But now we’re ready for this game and it’s an important one as far as we’re concerned.
“It’s our home game and we want to take the game to Thistle as we would do any other visiting team.
“We play the way we play, so we won’t change that.
“It would be nice to get another home win for the fans who’ve been great again and appreciate what we’re trying to do to take the club forward.”
United striker Mario Bilate is attempting to overcome a hamstring injury to face the Jags.
On-loan Hull left-back Conor Townsend is back in training following a foot injury, but this game looks like coming too early for him.
Winger Ryan Dow has shrugged off a recent thigh problem so should be ready to play.
Belgian defender Frederic Frans is delighted to finally arrive in the “promised land of football” after signing for Partick Thistle.
The 25-year-old had spent his entire career with SK Lierse until deciding to try British football in the summer.
Frans had trials at Blackpool and Leeds but a move to the latter was scuppered when the club sacked manager Dave Hockaday.
He achieved his dream of playing in the UK this week when he joined Thistle on a contract until January.
Frans said: “I stayed 20 years in the same club. I had a really good time there, except for the last year when I had some problems with the owner.
“But after 20 years at the same club, I thought it was time to do something new. When you are used to one club in Belgium, I thought ‘why not go abroad?’. I’m 25 and it’s the perfect time.
“You are a footballer, you get the chance to see something of the world. So that’s why I decided not to sign another contract in Belgium.
“I thought about England. I was in Leeds and the Championship is a very good competition. But my main objective was the UK in general because it’s the promised land of football. I love to be here.”
Frans, who could make his Scottish Premiership debut against Dundee United on Saturday, added: “It’s a new start for me and I can’t wait to get on the field and pay back the manager and the fans for all their support.
“They can expect a player who wins all his headers and be strong in the tackle, but will try to play his part in the build-up, on the ground and not always with long balls.”
Frans has played in a reserve game and a closed-door friendly against Motherwell, and he was also impressed when watching his new team-mates beat the Lanarkshire side 3-1 before the international break.
“I saw the team tries to play football,” he said. “Okay, it’s Scottish football so it’s hard. But the manager really wants to play football and that’s what I like.
“They always told me it’s very physical, but I also like the physical part because I’m big, but I’m happy that they play football.”
Frans struck up friendships with Scots Charlie Miller and Tony Watt while at Lierse, with the former Rangers midfielder playing his part in winning him a move to Firhill.