Dundee United boss Ray McKinnon has lavished praise on Challenge Cup semi-final hero Tony Andreu — for his workrate.
The Frenchman grabbed what proved to be the Tangerines’ winner when he struck with a spectacular effort in the first half to put his team three up at Queen of the South.
United then had to survive a spirited Doonhamers’ fightback as goals from Stephen Dobbie and Derek Lyle made them sweat.
And Ray was just as impressed with Andreu’s contribution during those second 45 minutes as he was with his attacking play before the break.
“Tony’s a really talented player. But for all that talent and his goals for us this season, his workrate off the ball is fantastic,” said the manager.
“He’s works very hard for the team and you saw that again on Saturday.
“He’s played almost every game since he came and he is a special player. If you can get the ball to him in the right areas he is very dangerous.
“He’s a top lad and look what he’s capable of with our third goal.”
When Andreu scored, United were already in the driving seat thanks to efforts from Charlie Telfer and Scott Fraser in the opening minutes.
Despite their three-goal interval lead, though, the tie always looked closer than that score suggested.
Ray was disappointed the second half was not negotiated more smoothly but did not lose sight of what the objective was.
“You have to be happy, we’re in the final. We went down to make the final and we’re in it so we are pleased.
“They were bombarding us with everything in the last wee bit and I was disappointed with the second-half performance but I’m not going to criticise.
“The boys worked hard, we won away from home and Queens are a good side.
“I was delighted with the goals in the first half but to be honest we could have played better. We had opportunities.
“To go down to a tough away place and winning, I have to be happy.”
United will face St Mirren in next month’s final.
The Buddies beat Welsh outfit TNS 4-1 in yesterday’s other semi.