Home comfort is the key as Stuart Armstrong pens new Tannadice deal
Dundee United midfielder Stuart Armstrong believes that the settled environment of Tannadice is the perfect launchpad for his career.
The 20-year-old yesterday extended his contract until May 2015 after establishing himself as a first-team regular with 47 appearances.
Armstrong, who was joined by 22-year-old full-back Keith Watson in prolonging his stay, said: “I want to establish myself as a first-team player and it’s a great club to try to make your way in the game.
“I’m happy here, the fans are great and it’s a good chance to develop as a player in a competitive league like the SPL, so it was an easy option to sign on. It was a good choice, I think.”
Watson and Armstrong both started Saturday’s 3-0 defeat by Hearts along with fellow youth-team graduates Johnny Russell and Ryan Dow, while 16-year-old Ryan Gauld came off the bench.
Armstrong, whose team face Queen of the South in the Scottish Communities League Cup third round tonight, feels the number of familiar faces in the team can help him adapt.
“We all know what we are capable of, you are comfortable when you know what other players are around you and have had them around you for a while,” the Scotland Under-21 international said.
“It puts you at ease when you know what they can do. I’ve spent most of my career here, and a couple of years at first-team level, so it definitely feels like home. I’m very comfortable amongst the staff and the boys who have stayed here with me.
“Young players like Ryan Dow, Scotty Allan when he was here, Ross Smith and Dale Hilson have all come up with me so it’s good to have the boys you have played with at under-19 level here to help you.”
Queen of the South are unbeaten this season and have knocked Hibernian and Rangers out of cup competitions, but Armstrong welcomes the chance to make amends for Saturday at Palmerston. “It’s probably best to have a game so soon to bounce back after the disappointing game against Hearts and we are definitely looking to do that,” he said.
Queen of the South are in such a rich run of form that United manager Peter Houston claims his SPL side are underdogs. He said: “Queens are a confident team who’re beating everybody, but that’s probably a good thing from our point of view. They’re doing so well and we were poor on Saturday, so we might well now be going in as underdogs.
“People might think that’s where the shock is going to be. So that should be the motivation to our players.
“Let’s be honest, Queen of the South knocked Hibs out and beat Rangers only last week in the cup. Now let’s see if our boys can stand up to the challenge.
“We’ve done video analysis of recent Queen of the South games to give the players an idea of what they’ll be playing against. We need a reaction from Saturday which hopefully we’ll get, but we have to win the battle first before we win the war.”
Houston labelled his side’s performance “soft” in the wake of their Hearts loss but now admits he must take some share of the blame. He added: “In hindsight, I picked the wrong team. I should have brought in more experience.”
United skipper Jon Daly could return after coming on a sub against Hearts, but Gregory Vignal won’t make his debut yet as he continues to work on his fitness after his recent switch to Tannadice.
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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