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George Cran: ‘Solid Dundee United can romp home to Championship win’

Connolly on United duty
Connolly on United duty

Eleven matches, 990 minutes, 81 days, 22 goals scored and counting – Dundee United’s incredible unbeaten run shows no signs of slowing.

Heading back to Palmerston over the weekend to see the Tangerines take on Queen of the South, it was startling how different a side the visitors are now from back in October.

The last time the teams met in Dumfries, Robbie Neilson’s men came out on the wrong side of a 4-0 thumping.

To their massive credit, they used that to clear the air and propel them onto this run that’s seen them take total control of the Championship title contest.

Two-and-a-half months ago, United were still top of the table and in a decent enough place.

Now, though, there is a supreme confidence about them that they will win every game, no matter how well or not they play.

Make no bones about it, they didn’t play very well on Saturday – but they played better than Queens and got a win that was deserved.


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It was deserved because they were really solid, in a way they certainly weren’t in the autumn.

That game saw the United defence really struggle in the air against the Doonhamers but this time around Paul Watson and Mark Connolly at centre-back were very strong and dominated from the back.

As a team, United also managed to avoid giving away cheap free-kicks in areas that could put them under pressure.

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Mark Connolly heads home the opening goal at Palmerston.

As much as there is a noticeable change in confidence levels, there was also a big alteration in personnel.

The previous time Liam Smith was being used as a left-back with Watson in on the right – those two were far more comfortable in their usual positions.

And over their unbeaten run, the largely settled back five have been the platform that has seen the Tangerines excel.

United may have conceded four times on October 19 but have only let in three in the 11 matches since.

That is incredible.

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There were a couple of moments where Queens could have scored last Saturday.

However, the Tangerines showed the mettle of champions – get one goal in front and then hold the opposition at arm’s length.

Palmerston boss Allan Johnston may have been complaining about time wasting from United but Queens weren’t good enough to get the equaliser.

United were miserly in defence – if they keep that up, no one will have any chance of getting near them.

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This article originally appeared on the Evening Telegraph website. For more information, read about our new combined website.