Alan Pattullo: Robbie Neilson’s star on the rise again at United

With Dundee United continuing to canter to the Championship title, there’s a possibility former Hearts manager Robbie Neilson could pass the Tynecastle side on the way down as his Dundee United side head up.

Dundee United manager Robbie Neilson. Picture Michael Gillen

His managerial star is firmly back in the ascendancy as the leaders eye a ninth consecutive league win this afternoon when Ayr United are the visitors.

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The last time that feat was achieved by United in the same season was in 1950/51, when the Tannadice side were in the old B division.

If they are successful today, the next target will be an all-time record of 11 successive wins – set across two seasons during the period when United lifted the Scottish title in 1983.

Such targets are certainly a big step forward from being beaten 5-0 at home by Ayr United in the corresponding fixture last season. Neilson rode out the storm (they also lost to Alloa Athletic soon afterwards) and United are reaping the benefits.