Dundee United v Motherwell: Final ‘not a factor’

DUNDEE United manager Jackie McNamara is confident his players will focus on their remaining Scottish Premiership campaign despite the attraction of their forthcoming Scottish Cup final.

Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

The Tayside club welcome Motherwell to Tannadice on Saturday knowing that defeat would mean they cannot qualify for Europe through the league.

McNamara’s side can seal a Europa League place by beating St Johnstone at Celtic Park on May 17, but the former Scotland international is only thinking about points and not silverware.

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McNamara said: “We’ll just be taking one game at a time. That’s the approach we’ve had all season and that won’t change.

“Of course the cup final is attracting a lot of attention which is understandable. But we’ve got lots of football to play between now and then, which we’ll be concentrating fully on.

“It’s our aim to pick up as many points as possible in the games which we have left. They’re all going to be tough, starting with Motherwell, but that’s the challenge to the players.

“It’s about trying to get some momentum and seeing where it takes us in the next few weeks.”

Motherwell moved further away from United last weekend by fighting back for a 3-3 draw against champions Celtic, but McNamara has not given up hope of closing the seven-point gap.

“Motherwell are obviously a good side and Stuart McCall has again done a great job there,” he said. “They showed what they’re capable of last weekend by coming back against Celtic to get a draw.

“You could say we’ve got to beat them if we want to have any hope of catching them in the table.

“It will be difficult to catch them but you have to hope in football, and we know what we’re capable of producing on our day.”