Dundee United boss Robbie Neilson delighted to put the heat on Ross County

Dundee United manager Robbie Neilson.
Dundee United manager Robbie Neilson.

Boss Robbie Neilson was delighted with his side’s battling display as they put some heat on Championship leaders Ross County by beating them at Tannadice.

Calum Butcher’s early header was the difference between the sides and means United are now eight points off the top of the table.

With United playing twice before the Staggies see league action again, they can cut that gap to just two points if they win their next two games.

To do that, Robbie knows his team will have to produce performances similar to the one that earned victory in last night’s clash.

Calum Butcher (right) is congratulated by his team-mates after firing Dundee United ahead.

“The game on Saturday against Alloa will be different because they will sit in a bit more and counter attack, so we will need to work on a way to win that game as well,” he said.

“First of all, we will try to get the gap down to five by winning the game on Saturday and then we will look at the fixture at Dunfermline on Tuesday.

“They are two tough games. Alloa beat us down at their place and we’ve had tough games against Dunfermline here and down there.

“But beating County is massive for us because it gets us a wee bit closer and puts a wee bit of pressure on them.

“And I was delighted – it was a tough game. They are a strong team, they have good players and a really good bench as well, so we knew we would have to work really hard to get the three points.”

There was special praise for Man-of-the-Match Paul McMullan who, in the absence of Pavol Safranko and Osman Sow, was used right up front.

“We spoke about it before the game, try to get in their half, be aggressive and use Paul McMullan’s pace over the top,” said Robbie.

“I think he frightened them right from the start of the game. I thought he was sensational, the wee man.

“I really like him and that’s why I’ve tried to sign him up again and we’ve offered him a deal.

“He’s got a lot of attributes a lot of people in Scotland don’t have.

“He has blistering pace and he’s willing to run in and has the fitness levels to keep doing it.

“I thought he led the line so well and he caused them a real threat in behind and he panicked them.”