Jackie McNamara’s side eased to a 4-0 victory over Danny Lennon’s men as they geared up in style for their trip to the Highlands. It was the third time in eight league games that United had plundered four goals, with Ciftci claiming a first-half double and youngster Ryan Gauld netting a second-half wonder strike before substitute Chris Erskine completed the scoring near the end.
Summer signing Ciftci reckons the Tayside club are a match for anyone on their day, especially when they play like they did on Saturday, and says they cannot wait to pit their wits against Inverness for a place in the last four.
He said: “It’s a game we’re really looking forward to. The lads are full of confidence and we know what we’re capable of when we play like that.
“We have nothing to fear and rightly so. We all believe in each other and can take a lot of confidence into the Inverness game. We have so many talented players and options going forward that we are feeling very good about ourselves right now.”
United manager McNamara made several changes to his starting line-up but still the hosts proved way too strong for their visitors from Paisley.
Gary Mackay-Steven returned to the side while Brian Graham played up front at the expense of David Goodwillie, and McNamara has promised to keep opposite number Butcher guessing ahead of their last-eight clash.
He said: “I just thought it was right to freshen things up. Thankfully it worked well for us and we’ll see how everyone is with regards to Tuesday. We have a strong squad with competition for places and whoever comes in has to stake a place. It doesn’t mean we won’t change things again for Inverness. We’ll decide nearer the time.”
Saints, who gave a debut to former Hearts goalkeeper Marian Kello, are back down to second-bottom of the table after their recent mini-revival came shuddering to a halt. Lennon said: “It’s about looking forward now and getting over this. It’s a bad result and we didn’t really show the good things we were showing in previous games. But I know the kind of players I have at this club and we can do a whole lot better. That has to be the aim and we’ll take that into our next game.”