Dundee United defender Paul Watson preaches tunnel vision in win hunt

Dundee United defender Paul Watson is looking for the Terrors to go on a winning run and block out all around them.
Dundee United defender Paul Watson is looking for the Terrors to go on a winning run and block out all around them.

Defender Paul Watson believes Dundee United must develop tunnel vision for the next month or so and focus on nothing else but winning games.

And, if the Tangerines can, he believes the race with Ross County for automatic promotion remains very much on.

Back in the team, the 28-year-old helped United reduced the gap at the top to eight points as they beat County at Tannadice on Tuesday night.

Although that remains a healthy advantage with just eight games to go, with the Highlanders in Irn-Bru Cup Final action against Connah’s Quay Nomads in Inverness this weekend and United facing Alloa today, then Dunfermline on Tuesday, by the time the leaders face league action again they could be just two points in front.

If that’s the case, Watson believes it will definitely be game on again but he knows a winning run between now and the end of the regular season is a must for Robbie Neilson’s team.

“There are eight games left and if we win them all, although it is a big ask, we are going to have a right good chance,” he said.

“We are fully focused because we know Ross County will drop points and when they do we have to make sure we can capitalise on it.

“We know we can’t afford to slip up and we need to apply as much pressure as possible. It’s something we’re capable of and it has to start in this one against Alloa by getting three points.”

With the Wasps now struggling for second-tier survival after a slump that’s seen them lose six of their last seven games, this afternoon’s clash looks very much a home banker.

As part of the side that lost to Jim Goodwin’s team at Recreation Park just before the turn of the year, Watson knows taking anything for granted in this one would be a dangerous way to go.

Dundee United defender Paul Watson.

“In this league everyone still has something to play for. The title and the play-offs are still up for grabs, down the bottom nobody is really safe yet, so everyone is battling. There is no game where anyone can just take the foot off the gas and relax.

“And Alloa are a good team. I think when they lost Jake Hastie back to Motherwell in January it hurt them. He had been a massive player for them.

“You see from what he’s doing for Motherwell just now how good a player he is and I think he will get a good move for himself.

“None-the-less they are still a good side and we need to be aware of their threats.

“Iain Flannigan is great at set-pieces and we’ve seen that with what he’s done with his free-kicks against us this season, so we can’t be giving away silly fouls.

“Their main threat is set-pieces so we have to be switched on for that. We have to be ready for this one and make sure we get the three points.

“It’s what we need to do. There are two tough games coming up with Dunfermline on Tuesday as well but we are just concentrating on Alloa just now.

“It’s never easy against them, we know that. They are organised and a good team but three points are a must.”

If United perform with the same intent shown on Tuesday – his first game for almost a month, Watson is sure they will get the required win.

“It was close and when the games are like that they are almost always won by the odd set-piece here and there. It wasn’t pretty football but I thought we battled really well and deserve to take the three points in the end.

“Paul McMullan up top was relentless in his running and I don’t know how he managed to last as long as he did, the full 90 minutes.

“I was tired watching him and he was superb. All round it was a great team effort.”