Jackie McNamara challenges players to end poor run

DUNDEE United manager Jackie McNamara has challenged his players to end their poor run of form in the Scottish Premiership match against Ross County at Tannadice.

The United boss wants his team to break out of their slump. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

The Tangerines are seeking to get back to winning ways when County visit Tayside after their four consecutive meetings with Celtic recently, in which they suffered three defeats.

United are still aiming to get into Europe for next season and, after today’s match, they face local rivals Dundee on Wednesday, followed by a home game with Hamilton.

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McNamara said: “We have a very important week ahead of us. That’s the way we’re looking at it at this stage of the season.

The United boss wants his team to break out of their slump. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

“That starts on Saturday with Ross County, who are in very good form, so it’s important that everyone’s together as we try to get the victory we’re looking for.

“We want to end the season on a positive note with as many wins as possible. We’re chasing the teams above us.

“We had a few disappointing results prior to the run of Celtic games so we need to put that whole period to bed now.

“I think the lads are ready to do that. It has happened, that’s football and everything doesn’t go your way at times.

“But we’re professionals and the most important thing is the next game now and getting the result we want.

“We want to win our remaining games and secure a place in Europe for next season.”

Meanwhile, Marcus Fraser was the only Ross County player content to take a break in international week – as it fell perfectly for his injury.

The former Celtic defender was gutted to be forced out of the Hungary-bound Scotland under-21 squad but relieved to miss just one league match with an untimely hamstring strain.

Such is County’s momentum in racking up five victories and a draw, nobody else in the camp welcomed the enforced lay-off from competitive action.

But Fraser said: “I missed the last league game as my hamstring was playing up a bit. I did meet up with Scotland under-21s but they agreed it would be better if I withdrew and had a couple of days rest. I did that and feel a lot better for it.

“It was disappointing on the Scotland front but I was glad of the break.

“I don’t know if the manager or the rest of the Ross County lads felt the same given the momentum we had built up before the internationals.

“Thankfully, the injury wasn’t anything major – just a niggling tightness. But I’ve had some sessions and trained this week so I’m fit to go if picked.”