Dundee Utd V St Mirren – view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.
McNamara targets top spot
Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara hopes the incentive of potentially going top of the Scottish Premiership can spur his side on to victory in Saturday’s match against St Mirren at Tannadice.
The Tangerines sit just one point behind league leaders Hamilton as they prepare to welcome Tommy Craig’s team to Tayside.
United clinched their place in the semi-finals of the League Cup in midweek by beating Hibernian at Easter Road after a penalty shoot-out and now McNamara would love to see them round off a productive week by beating the Buddies and perhaps regaining pole position in the table.
McNamara said: “It’s another big game. We knew at the start of the week what was at stake and it was a good result that we got down at Hibs in the cup.
“We know where we are in the table and what might happen if we win. We can only focus on ourselves and hope for a positive result.
“That’s how we approach every game and this one will be no different. The lads are looking forward to the game and it’s just a case of trying to get as much recovery as possible from the Hibs game during the week.”
United beat Partick in their last home game 1-0 but were not satisfied with their own performance despite winning through Nadir Ciftci’s late penalty.
And McNamara hopes they can repay their fans with another home victory to start the second quarter of the season in style.
He said: “I could understand the fans’ frustration in the last home game.
“We want to play as well as we can and we didn’t that day, through no lack of trying. It’s up to us to try and recapture the form of last season which the fans enjoyed watching.
“The ideal scenario is always to play well and get the three points. But we know St Mirren won’t be easy opponents at all.
“They have had some good results this season and are dangerous in certain areas.
“We need to watch for that and hopefully our own good play can come to the fore and we can get the result we want.”
United hope to have Gary Mackay-Steven in their squad. The winger went off with an ankle knock on Wednesday night but has not been ruled out.
McNamara could make changes after playing some fringe players against Hibernian in the cup.
Gary Teale insists he still has an on-field role to play at St Mirren.
The 36-year-old wide-man was made player-coach in the summer when Tommy Craig moved up from assistant to manager but injury has restricted the former Scotland winger to four appearances this season, two of them off the bench.
Teale has recovered from a knee operation and, after being restricted to contributing on the training pitch and in the dug-out, he is looking to make his mark as a player, starting against Dundee United at Tannadice on Saturday.
“I had an operation four weeks ago and I am just getting up to speed,” he said.
“I don’t know if that is my body telling me slow down but in my head and in the way I feel with my general fitness, I still want to continue for as long as I can.
“If the team is winning and you are getting performances week in, week out, you are not really needed anyway.
“But as long as I feel as if I can still make a contribution when I am playing, whether it be from the start or coming on as a sub, then I still want to play.
“I don’t want to be standing in the way of a young boy coming behind me. But I will judge that myself and obviously Tommy will do that in terms of the playing side of things.
“But at this moment in time I want to continue.”
John McGinn is a doubt for St Mirren. The Buddies midfielder has suffered a knock behind the knee and will be assessed by boss Tommy Craig.
Skipper Steven Thompson is out long term with a groin injury, and Isaac Osbourne (shin), Gregg Wylde and Ellis Plummer (both groin) are also out.