Dundee Utd V Hibernian at Tannadice Park - Match Preview

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McNamara eyes return to form

Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara has demanded an improvement in results and performance ahead of Sunday's match with Hibernian.

The Arabs welcome Terry Butcher's side to Tannadice still smarting from three successive defeats.

Having won a raft of plaudits for a six-match winning streak that saw them blast 22 goals, the Terrors then followed that up by losing nine goals in three games as St Mirren, St Johnstone and Aberdeen all triumphed.

Now McNamara has told his troops it is time they rediscovered their match-winning form.

He said: "My thoughts on Sunday's match are that we need to win it. We are at home but I think we need to play a lot better than we did against Aberdeen.

"We will need to pass the ball a lot better and hope that the pitch has not taken too much of a battering after the heavy rain during that match on Wednesday.

"We felt the Aberdeen match was a chance to bounce back after the St Johnstone defeat but we didn't take it. The Hibs match is another chance for us to do that.

"We are hurting at the moment but we must dust ourselves down and get ready for Sunday."

Meanwhile, McNamara says a decision has yet to be made on David Goodwillie's United future.

The former Tannadice favourite returned to the club in the summer on a six-month loan from Blackburn.

But he has scored just five times in 21 outings and was left on the bench for the 2-1 defeat to Aberdeen on New Year's Day.

The Arabs boss said: "It depends. He's here until January 13 so we'll wait and see."

Hibernian midfielder Scott Robertson will not read too much into Dundee United's dip in form.

The 28-year-old spent four years with the Tayside club before leaving for Blackpool in 2012 and during his time at United he had a close-up view of the club's young players such as Ryan Gauld, John Souttar and Stuart Armstrong, who have had praise heaped upon them for much of this season.

However, there has been something of a reassessment of Jackie McNamara's charges following three successive defeats over the festive season.

Robertson, who scored in the 1-1 draw between the teams at Easter Road earlier last August, told Press Association Sport that a more realistic appraisal of United's young guns is required but that their talent is undoubted.

He said: "I think people maybe got a little bit excited about how well they were doing because they were playing really well, and people might be over-reacting now that it's a bad spell.

"It's been three games in less than a week for them and it has been difficult for the young players to keep up that form.

"But they are all good players and I am sure they will come through it.

"I played with Stuart Armstrong for two years and also played with Gary Mackay-Steven.

"Ryan Gauld made his debut in my last game there but he was training for us for five months before that.

"He was 15 or 16 and you could tell that he was something a little bit special as he was running rings around people at that age.

"John Souttar didn't feature much under that regime I worked under but he has obviously come through and done well recently.

"So we are looking forward to a challenge when we go there".

Hibs travel to Tannadice on the back of a thrilling 2-1 derby win over Hearts at Easter Road on Thursday night which took them to within five points of their hosts.

Robertson believes there is no reason for the Leith side to be anything other than positive.

"It is an exciting prospect playing against United with the momentum we have built up," said the former Dundee player.

"If we had managed to beat St Johnstone at Easter Road (instead of drawing) it would have been an incredible run, but it is 10 points from 12 so we should go there with a positive attitude and hopefully we should get a win."

Source : PA

Source: PA