Motherwell 0-2 Dundee Utd: McNamara hails Murray energy

Simon Murray scored his first Premiership goal in the win at Fir Park
Murray scored his first Premiership goal in United's win at Fir Park

Manager Jackie McNamara thinks striker Simon Murray can build on his first goal for Dundee United.

The former Arbroath player came off the bench to strike in stoppage time to seal a 2-0 success at Motherwell.

"He has a lot of energy and the biggest thing he has got is desire, which is one of the reasons why I brought him in," said McNamara.

"He has been excellent so far, every day he is in he gives everything he has."

Murray, 23, is in his first full season at full-time level, having remained at Gayfield on loan after his January signing.

And he scored with the last kick of the ball as United broke away from defending a corner, with home goalkeeper Connor Ripley having gone up the park for the set piece.

A few minutes earlier, defender Louis Laing sliced Paul Dixon's cross into his own net.

"Motherwell are much improved and that's a fantastic three points for us," enthused McNamara. "This will be a difficult place to come for most teams.

"First 20 minutes, they caused us a lot of problems.

"Both goalkeepers had some fantastic saves. Luis [Zwick] was outstanding for us.

"I was delighted that we had the energy to keep attacking them and finish the game off."

Summer signing Rodney Sneijder missed the game after returning to the Netherlands with illness on Wednesday.

McNamara said: "He has taken a viral infection and is doing some tests. We will know more on Tuesday or Wednesday."

Motherwell players with their manager Ian Baraclough
Motherwell were left disappointed after their first home match of the campaign

Motherwell manager Ian Baraclough was frustrated not to take something from an open game full of good chances.

"It's hard to take that because, for me, we've played better than we did last weekend [in the win] against Inverness and got nothing to show from it," he told BBC Scotland.

"It shows you that you have to take your chances otherwise it can come back and hurt you. I thought we were a lot more intense in the second half in the way we went about things.

"Once we started going at them you felt it was only a matter of time for us scoring but you've got to ensure you don't concede in that time.

"I didn't realise it was an own goal (from Laing) but he was immense at the back. He and Stephen McManus have got a real good partnership going. It was a difficult ball to defend; a good ball from Dixon and it ends up in the back of the net.

"We are creating chances and I was pleased with our intensity, especially in the second half.

"We'll learn from this at least that, if we are in the ascendancy, we come away with at least a point. It was never a 2-0 defeat but that's how it was and we have to take that on the chin."