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Dundee United midfielder Ian Harkes sets top-six goal and praises impact of new boss Tam Courts

Dundee United midfielder Ian Harkes.

After coming so close last time, Dundee United are setting their sights on a top-six finish once more.

That’s the aim of Tangerines midfielder Ian Harkes.

The American believes the Terrors have what it takes in their ranks under new head coach Thomas Courts to better the ninth spot they achieved last season.

Headed into the 2021/22 Premiership campaign, the 26-year-old is feeling good about their chances as he looks to impress boss Courts.

‘We have to look at where we finished last season and improve’

“Every season everyone hits the restart button and I think you go again and try to fight for your position,” Harkes said, speaking to DUTV after United’s 1-1 friendly draw against Cowdenbeath.

“There’s competition every week with this team and we know that.

“You want to impress the staff and the new gaffer so I think everyone’s looking forward to putting their best foot forward.

Tam Courts on the touchline during December match against Livingston.
Dundee United boss Tam Courts.

“I always set goals for myself and the team but I think, as a unit, we have to look at where we finished last season and improve.

“We were so close in the race for top six but I think we can look at those results, know we can do better and really try to position ourselves up there.

“This league is going to be tougher this year, more competitive and I think, for myself, I want to keep progressing and adding to my game.

“I think all the boys do.”

Courts’ energy and message seeping through

Now two weeks into pre-season training, Harkes is enjoying life under a new management team.

He’s enjoying what Courts and No 2 Liam Fox are bringing to the table, insisting he’s not surprised by the impact he’s trying to make.

Harkes added: “We know Tam from the crazy period in Covid where they took over when the gaffer and some of the staff from before had to isolate.

New Dundee United assistant head coach Liam Fox.

“We already had a feel for him and I think everyone’s enjoying working under him. We’re looking forward to continuing that.

“There’s a buzz and I think that always happens when a new staff comes in.

“They bring a new energy and we’re all just feeling each other out but I think the boys are enjoying the energy and message he’s bringing to the team.”

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