Dundee United can stay up - Ross County boss Jim McIntyre

By Martin DowdenBBC Scotland
Dundee United players celebrate Guy Demel's opening goal in their win over Hearts
United's players have hope of avoiding the drop after beating Hearts

Ross County boss Jim McIntyre believes Saturday's opponents Dundee United can stay up despite being 11 points adrift at the foot of the Premiership.

McIntyre cited his own side's run of nine wins from their last 16 games last season to retain their top-flight spot.

"I think they have a chance," he told BBC Scotland. You just have to look at ourselves for that from last season. They have definitely got a chance.

"They just need that bit of luck and to put their chances away when they come."

The clubs meet in Dingwall with Mixu Paatelainen's basement side looking to build momentum after beating Hearts last time out.

"They have certainly added to their squad," McIntyre noted. "They have a lot of strength and height in their team now and are a major threat at set-plays.

"They have added that since Mixu has come in and still have some good young players there, so we have to be wary of that.

"They had a great result last time and we were that team last year - fighting and scratching for everything.

"United will look to keep charging on to get as many points as possible to try to get out of it."

Ross County manager Jim McIntyre
McIntyre says it would be a "massive disappointment" if County don't finish in the top six

With only eight points separating County, in fourth, and Kilmarnock - their next opponents on Tuesday - in 11th, McIntyre admits it is a "big week" for the Highland outfit's hopes of maintaining their top-six status.

"When you have been in the top six most of the season, it would be a natural reaction to consider it a massive disappointment if we didn't make it at this late stage," he added.

"But we have got to earn that. We don't have any given right to be in there.

"We have been fighting relegation for the last three years, so we have it all to do. We have got to prove it."

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