Jackie McNamara happy with Dundee United's spirit

Jackie McNamara lost Ryan Gauld to injury early in the second half
Jackie McNamara lost Ryan Gauld to injury early in the second half

Jackie McNamara hailed Dundee United's spirit as they came from behind to defeat Kilmarnock 3-2 at Tannadice.

Alexei Eremenko and Rory McKenzie had cancelled out Gary Mackay-Steven's early opener to put the Rugby Park men in front.

However, similar to the Scottish Cup tie between these two, United fought back to get the win, with Curtis Good and John Rankin the heroes.

"I'm delighted with the response again," McNamara told BBC Scotland.

With Aberdeen and Motherwell both picking up late wins, it was imperative United did not fall further behind in the race for a top three spot.

However they were made to work for their victory in a pulsating 90 minutes which either side could have won.

"I think we maybe just shaded it with chances," said a delighted Dundee United manager.

"Give Kilmarnock great credit, I thought it was a fantastic match. They try to play football, there was a lot of chances and a lot of mistakes in the match, but thankfully we came out on top.

"I thought we looked a bit nervous, but again you have to give Kilmarnock credit for that, they put us under a lot of pressure, pressed us high up. They forced us into making a lot of errors.

"I don't think we passed the ball as well as we have in the St Mirren game, I think that was down to Kilmarnock's work rate and pressing. The most important thing is we're scoring goals and managed to get the victory."

He added: "I thought they [Kris Boyd and Alexei Eremenko] were a constant threat. Boyd especially in the air, and Eremenko showed what a good player he is; very composed and very intelligent.

"They were causing us a few problems, but a lot of the stuff there was self inflicted, our passing was a bit sloppy at times."

McNamara also paid tribute to goalkeeper Radoslaw Cierzniak, who denied Kilmarnock a number of times and whose quick thinking helped lead to the opening goal.

"Not just his saves but his handling for his crosses, he's very influential for us to start things off," he said. "He catches the ball at pace, and we managed to get the first goal from their corner.

"I'm delighted with a lot of things, but I think there's a lot more to come from the boys today."

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