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Dundee United’s Rachid Bouhenna determined not to miss out again on title glory

Rachid Bouhenna.
Rachid Bouhenna.

Last year, Rachid Bouhenna experienced the agony of just missing out on winning a league title while playing in Algeria.

Now plying his trade in Scotland with Dundee United, he is determined the same thing will not happen again.

The 27-year-old centre-half was previously with Alger when they finished second in the Algerian League 1 behind title winners ES Setif in 2017.

Bouhenna signed a two-year deal with United in August and has now played 13 times for the Tangerines who currently sit in third place in the Championship table, five points behind league leaders Ayr.

The defender is looking to close that gap, hopefully starting today with a win over Falkirk at Tannadice.

Bouhenna said: “I came second in the league with Alger.

“We got into the African Champions League for that but it still didn’t make losing the league hurt less.

“In the end we were short by seven points, it went down to the final two games but we just didn’t have enough.

“It wasn’t a good feeling and it’s not something I want to go through again.

“When you see another team celebrate achieving something that was your aim then it’s not nice.

“Hopefully this time I can be the one celebrating at the end of the season because that would make up for missing out in the past.”

United embarked on a good run after new boss Robbie Neilson took over but that came to a shuddering halt at the end of last month when they were well beaten by Ayr.

The Tangerines have drawn the two games since then, including last weekend’s at Inverness, and Bouhenna insists it is now time to get back to winning ways.

He said: “There are a lot of important games coming up and it is going to be busy.

“But we are all looking forward to it. The objective is to win the league and we want to get as many points as possible.

“The last few games haven’t been what we wanted but we are confident of getting back on track.

“I felt we were better against Inverness, we had a lot of chances to score and could have taken all three points.

“It’s time to kick on again now. We won four consecutive games recently and that’s what we need to do again.

“To win a league you have to go on a run of consistent results, that’s what will get us back to the top of the league.

“The next four games are against teams below us and we have to take 12 points from them.”

Bouhenna added: “The teams above us are strong and they will be there right to the end of the season.

“We can’t expect them to fall away, if we are going to get to the top we have to do it ourselves.

“I am confident we can do that. We can play well and have shown it at times over the last 10 games.

“This league could go right to the very end because there isn’t much between the teams.

“All we can do is keep working hard, keep trying to improve and I think we will get back in there with them.

“It is six points to the top of the league now so things can change very quickly.

“If we can put a run together then we will give ourselves a real chance.”

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