Dundee United: Jackie McNamara targets title challenge

Stuart Armstrong scored Dundee United's second in between Nadir Ciftci's double.
Stuart Armstrong scored Dundee United's second in between Nadir Ciftci's double

Manager Jackie McNamara has urged Dundee United to be more streetwise if they want to challenge for the title after they defeated Ross County 3-2.

A Nadir Ciftci double either side of a Stuart Armstrong goal gave the visitors what looked like a comfortable lead.

However, 10-man County made it a frantic finish in Dingwall with two late goals.

"If you want to challenge you have to make sure you give nothing away at the back," McNamara told BBC Scotland.

And, when asked about the possibility of competing with Celtic for the Scottish Premiership title after they moved to within a point of them, he said: "It's crying out for somebody to do that.

"Naturally I hope it's us, but we have to make sure we're more clinical and more streetwise at the end of that game instead of hanging on."

Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara
"Callum Morris didn't even make the bench tonight so it shows how strong the squad is and everybody is going to be needed over the next few months."

United were impressive up front with three breakaways securing a 3-0 lead, however Yoann Arquin took advantage of a John Souttar mistake to reduce the deficit, and Darren Maatsen hammered in another.

Liam Boyce saw red for a late lunge at Paul Paton, and Arquin could have won a penalty for the home side but elected to stay on his feet despite being clipped by goalkeeper Radoslaw Cierzniak.

McNamara added: "It should have been more comfortable. Credit to them as they came back in - even with 10 men they gave everything they had - but for me we took our foot off the gas and stopped passing the ball the way we should have.

"When we play properly we're a good side. We've got a few lads struggling with stomach problems, maybe a wee bug going about, so I'm just glad to get to the final whistle.

"Callum Morris didn't even make the bench tonight so it shows how strong the squad is and everybody is going to be needed over the next few months.

"Tonight was a massive game for us and we had to win it."

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