Jackie McNamara: Dundee United not gone off the boil

Dundee United's Jackie McNamara
Jackie McNamara (right) with assistant Simon Donnelly

Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara refused to blame his youngsters after they fell to a 2-1 defeat by Aberdeen.

The Tannadice men surrendered an early second half lead after John Souttar had fired home Mark Wilson's corner.

Barry Robson levelled with a penalty before Peter Pawlett headed a late winner to leave United eight points adrifts of second place.

"I don't think we're off the boil," McNamara told BBC Scotland. "Today the conditions played a part."

It is United's third consecutive defeat following heavy losses to St Mirren and St Johnstone, but McNamara feels his side just lacked a bit of experience in front of a capacity home crowd.

"I think we can play a lot better," he said. "I don't think it was an entertaining game. It was very stop-start and percentage football at times.

"I'm disappointed with some of our passing, we're obviously disappointed to lose the goal when we did."

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Interview - Dundee Utd boss Jackie McNamara

He added: "There was a lot of free-kicks in the game, maybe conditions played a part. I said to the boys there about experience in winning fouls, winning certain things. It's a good learning curve for us."

United's lead lasted just 13 minutes before Andrew Robertson was penalised for handball inside the area, and Robson made no mistake from the penalty spot.

Aberdeen increased the pressure and after Radoslaw Cierzniak had denied the visitors with a string of saves, Pawlett finally found the net late on.

"Andrew's said it hit his chest," revealed McNamara. "I haven't seen it myself so I'm obviously going with what he's told me.

"Again these little things can be costly and we'll just need to wait and see if it's right or wrong."

Souttar had a tough first half with a couple of mistakes in particular pounced on, however, McNamara is confident the young centre-back will learn from his mistakes.

"He's 17 years old, he has to learn," said McNamara. "There's no better place to learn than first team football.

"Today's conditions meant mistakes were probably going to cost one of us at the end, and we're disappointed with the way we've lost the goal.

"Brian's [Graham] had a chance to equalise as well and we're hoping he hits the target there."

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