Defeat to Livi earlier in season gives Dundee United a point to prove says King

Billy King (right) — pictured in action against Dumbarton — is eager to avenge Dundee United’s shock defeat to this weekend’s visitors Livingston when the sides meet at Tannadice.

Winger Billy King says Dundee United have a point to prove against Livingston this weekend.

That’s because the last meeting between the sides was one of the Tangerines’ lowest points of the season as they were beaten 2-0 at the Tony Macaroni Arena.

A goal in each half saw David Hopkin’s side take the three points on a day that United never got going.

It’s all change now at Tannadice, however, and, despite last weekend’s game at Queen of the South being abandoned at half-time, the team look to be building up a head of steam under new boss Csaba Laszlo.

King said: “Livingston have had a few matches postponed lately but it will be a tough one.

“It was a really difficult game at Almondvale the last time, so that’s what we’re expecting again — we’ll have to play a lot better than we did that day.

Dundee United winger Billy King.

“Obviously, things have changed since then but I think it’ll be a good game.”

And King is hoping to keep up his recent scoring run after grabbing a brace in the 2-0 win at Morton a couple of weekends back.

He followed that up with another good showing in the first half at Palmerston with the only thing missing being a finishing touch — something he was sure was coming had the second half got under way.

Chances came and went for the entire team in Dumfries, something which had annoyed the manager at Morton, too, but, for King, the amount being created meant it was just a matter of time before United took the lead had the cold weather not intervened.

He added: “All the boys in the changing-room were gutted and wanted to get back out there because we knew we were on top, playing really well, creating chances and the goal was going to come.

“I was the main one missing chances, though! I should have had a hat-trick in that first half. The manager was saying I just needed to be more clinical, I’d done everything well up until that point but just needed to finish them.

“Obviously, scoring two the week before I was sure I would get a goal in the second half but these things happen and I just have to get on with it and keep getting in the right areas.”

The former Hearts and Rangers wideman is enjoying life at Tannadice under new boss Laszlo and says the work put in is showing on the pitch.

“Since the manager has come in, he’s put a style on our play with passing and moving, keeping the ball on the deck and playing to our strengths,” King added.

“The personnel in the squad, we’ve got smaller players like Scott McDonald up front and players like me out wide, so there’s no point in playing long balls over the top or trying high balls.

“We’ve been working really hard tactically and it’s been paying off.”

King revealed he was surprised the referee called the game off at half-time but understood the decision when the United players crossed the pitch to talk to the travelling support to thank them for coming and explain the situation.

He said: “It’s a long journey to Dumfries and I thought we were playing well, just struggling to take our chances.

“But it was a huge disappointment for the game to get called off especially for the fans who have travelled down.

“When we went back out to see the fans it was getting icy, so I could understand why the ref thought the right decision was to call it off.

“The boys were disappointed but it was the ref’s decision and for our safety.

“So we just need to go back and, hopefully, pick up the three points.

“We were playing really well, creating loads of chances and it would have been the perfect half had we got a goal or two to top it off.”