Defender Mark Connolly has urged his Dundee United team-mates to go one further than their draw at Hearts and start racking up the wins in Betfred Cup Group A.
The Irishman and his fellow Tangerines head to Stenhousemuir tonight in their second League Cup fixture of the campaign after earning a 1-1 draw in Edinburgh on Friday.
United remain behind the Jambos in the group table thanks to their defeat in the penalty shootout at the end of the game as Craig Levein’s side took the extra bonus point on offer at Tynecastle.
Despite that, the Tangerines can almost certainly book their place in the knockout stages, should they pick up three wins from three against Stenny tonight, Cowdenbeath on Friday and then East Fife next week.
“We can only focus on ourselves for the rest of the group,” Connolly said. “We have Stenhousemuir tonight and that’s not going to be an easy game, so we need to go there with the right attitude. Hopefully, we can win the game and go on.
“Qualification is in our hands so we can just focus on ourselves and, hopefully, win the rest of the games, if we can, and see where it takes us.
“We are concentrating on the rest of the cup games and getting ourselves ready for a difficult league season, too.
“We do, though, have a good team, a strong team and a real togetherness through the players and coaching staff and that includes the players we’ve brought in.
“The fans, too, showed us great support on Friday and they stayed around after the game and we really appreciate that.
“It’s going to be a tough season but we’re all confident we can do well.”
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Connolly felt there was lots to take out of the performance at a rain-sodden Tynecastle but insists there’s plenty more to come from United.
He told the Tele: “We came back late because of the play-offs so that was our first full 90 minutes for a lot of us.
“We take a lot of positives out of Friday and there is a plenty of stuff we can work on.
“Obviously, away to Tynecastle is a hard place. They had a strong team but I don’t think they had too many clear opportunities and, with Nicky Clark’s chance near the end, we could have ended up winning the game.
“It was a tough night but it was good to play a team in the league above us and we showed we can handle ourselves against the bigger teams.
“We did ourselves proud – disappointed we could only draw but there are positives to take into tonight’s game and, hopefully, go again.
“Hearts’ two front players – Conor Washington is an international and Uche Ikpeazu I played against down south – both are tough to play against.
“They are good players but I think the whole back four handled them well and so did the boys in front of us. We showed character at times when we needed to. We rolled our sleeves up and put our bodies on the line.”
He added: “We were disappointed with the goal we lost. It was a sloppy one to concede but we’ll take the positives.
“It was 1-1 at Hearts in the first competitive game of the season – we’re just disappointed we didn’t get more.”
Connolly admits he’d rather avoid any more penalty shootouts after two defeats in their last two competitive contests following last season’s loss against St Mirren in the play-off.
“Penalties are just not working for us right now!” joked Connolly.
“We have improved since May but it’s just one of those things. Hopefully, we don’t have too many more in this competition.”