Dundee United: Jackie McNamara wants ‘more of same’

DUNDEE United manager Jackie McNamara insists his side have every right to approach today’s Scottish Premiership match with Partick Thistle confident of maintaining their recent run of fine form.

Gabriel Piccolo: Feeling the cold. Picture: SNS

The Tangerines have beaten both St Mirren and Motherwell 4-0 in recent weeks as well as drawing away to champions Celtic. Now United are relishing the visit of the Jags to Tayside this weekend with McNamara calling on his side to hit those same heights.

McNamara said: “We’re confident and rightly so. We’ve been playing well in recent games and want to keep that going for obvious reasons. It’s a matter of more of the same and expressing ourselves as much as possible, like we did against St Mirren in our last home match, when Partick come here.

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“And if we can keep up the same level of performance then we’ll be looking to win the match. It won’t be easy because Thistle have proved they are a decent side since coming up to the top league. But it’s about what we do at home and trying to do the things we’re good at, which is getting the ball down and playing a certain way.

“We’ll be going out looking for three points but know we’ve got to make sure we work hard and do the other side as well to get the ball back when we don’t have it.”

McNamara has promised he won’t lose any focus over the prospect of a less-than-friendly reception from the Thistle supporters following his departure from the Glasgow club earlier in the year. He said: “It’s about focusing on the job in hand. What went on in the past has gone. I’ve got a lot of affection for Partick obviously from my time there. I worked with a lot of good players who achieved good things. But it’s not about me. It’s about Dundee United going to try and win this match, and not about me and what I’m doing on the touchline. We’re going to be professional, as we are in every game. Nothing should put us off in our efforts to get three points.”

Thistle defender Gabriel Piccolo insists he is warming to the Scottish game – despite struggling to adapt to the plunging temperatures. The Mexican centre-half said: “It’s my first Scottish winter but I’m not sure if I’m ready for it. I’ve heard a lot of things about how cold it gets. So far, it’s not been so good.It’s getting colder every day but I’m sure I will handle it. Back home it’s about 15 or 20 degrees right now, much better than Scotland. But I’m enjoying it here.”