NAC Breda 1-2 Dundee United: United grab late win

Jackie McNamara believes Dundee United’s Dutch training camp has left them ready to hit the ground running this season after watching Mario Bilate register his first goal for the club.

Jackie McNamara believes his side can hit the ground running this season. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Scorers: NAC Breda - Tighadouini (10); Dundee United - Graham (76), Bilate (81)

The 23-year-old, who joined from Sparta Rotterdam, showed excellent composure to slide the ball past Jelle ten Rouwelaar following some fine work out wide from Gary Mackay-Steven.

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That came just minutes after Brian Graham had restored parity to the contest, poking the ball through the legs of the big Breda keeper after being played through on goal by Bilate.

“There are two games left – Hibs away and Leeds away – and I think we are getting there,” said McNamara, who also saw his side post a 6-0 win against FC Winterswijk and a 2-1 defeat against Utrecht during their stay in Arnhem.

“I am happy with the squad. I still have Jaro [Fojut] to come in and hopefully he can give us an hour at Easter Road. The fans have not seen him yet and he should be okay for Sunday.

“In the second half we were by far the better team and it was a really strong performance.

“Nadir [Ciftci] will always hold the ball up for you and create something, GMS [Mackay-Steven] was excellent when he came on, Dowser [Ryan Dow] was good.

“You can see Mario [Bilate] is way off match fitness but if we can get him up to speed he will be a real plus for us and it was great to see him get his goal.

“Brian Graham has done well, too, and that’s what I want, competition. I don’t want anyone coming in and thinking their shirt is safe on the peg.”

Bilate had to be content with a place on the bench, with Ciftci selected to spearhead the attack against the side from which he joined Dundee United last summer, having been largely overlooked during his one season at the Rat Verlagh Stadium.

However, it took just ten minutes for Adnane Tighadouini to steal the limelight, breaking the deadlock with a magical opener.

He skipped past the challenge of Paul Paton and surged into the penalty area. The Dutch-Moroccan winger then dropped a shoulder to elude Callum Morris before firing a low shot past McCallum.

But United dominated the second period and deservedly surged back to claim the win with goals from Graham and Bilate.

NAC Breda: Ten Rouwelaar; De Roover, Damcevski, Amieux, Drost; De Kamps, Falkenburg; Seuntjens, Matic, Tighadouini; Boeteng.

Dundee United: McCallum; Paton (Rankin 45), Dillon, Morris, Robertson (Spittal 75); Petrie, Telfer (Fraser 75); Smith (Graham 45), Armstrong (Mackay-Steven 45), Erskine (Dow 45); Ciftci (Bilate 61). Subs not used: Cierzniak.

Referee: T Janssen. Attendance: 1,211