Mixu Paatelainen sure Dundee United results will improve

St Johnstone striker Steven MacLean fires wildly over the bar from the penalty spot after John Rankin had tripped Chris Kane in the box in the second half. Picture: SNS
St Johnstone striker Steven MacLean fires wildly over the bar from the penalty spot after John Rankin had tripped Chris Kane in the box in the second half. Picture: SNS
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  • Dundee United 1-2 St Johnstone
  • Dundee United scorer: Mckay 33
  • St Johnstone scorers: Kane 43; Davidson 45
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Dundee United manager Mixu Paatelainen remains convinced his side will turn the corner despite watching them go down 2-1 to Tayside rivals St Johnstone on Saturday.

Paatelainen’s side plunged six points adrift at the foot of the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership table after Billy McKay’s 33rd-minute headed opener was overturned by goals late in the first half from Chris Kane and Murray Davidson.

It promises to be a long winter for the Tangerines but Paatelainen has witnessed enough positives to ensure he doesn’t get downbeat about their hopes of climbing the table in the weeks ahead.

He said: “It will come. I’m sure of that. We are working so hard and whether we see the results soon or a little longer will be the thing.

“But I’m confident if we keep playing like that then we will get the sort of results we are looking for.

“We’re in a hard position at the moment but I’m not too concerned about the gap between ourselves and the next team above us. The key is to carry on believing and improve in the areas where we have to.

“Our players are working so hard and I couldn’t fault their attitude and commitment. We have to keep going in that manner because that is the only way to get out of this situation.”

Meanwhile, St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright – whose side could even afford for Steven MacLean to miss a second-half penalty – paid tribute to his own players for the manner in which they came from behind to secure victory.

Wright said: “It’s a great win. We got the equaliser at the right time which says a lot about the attitude of the lads.

“We’re on a great run just now and that is all down to the players. The spirit in the dressing room is excellent. If we can keep this going it would be great. Our points tally so far is very good and we want to build on that. We have some hard matches coming up so we’ll just have to take one game at a time.”