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Midfielder Stanton hopes Dundee United can make a statement of intent against Partick

Sam Stanton.
Sam Stanton.

Dundee United made a major statement as they brushed aside Inverness Caley Thistle with ease in their opening Championship outing last weekend.

And midfielder Sam Stanton is looking to send out another big message when the Tangerines head for another potential promotion rival in the shape of Partick Thistle tonight.

That does not necessarily mean United have to produce the same brand of flowing football shown on Saturday past, because the 25-year-old knows there are plenty ways of showing intent.

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Sam Stanton.

“Last week was obviously a good way to start the season and it was a good performance from all the boys. It was good to get off to a winning start,” said Stanton.

“It certainly was a statement, the way we played was very good. Even through pre-season things were going well but we wanted to start the league well and make that statement, and we did.

“It’s only one game, so we need to try to keep that going. We all know we’re not going to play as well as that in every single game of the season – it’s football and things never happen that way.

“With this team, though, we’ve got that steel and workrate that means you can go to places and win games without being at your best.

“If you want to be at the top of the table, you need to have that in your team, and I feel we do.

“We can handle it when things don’t go to plan right away. The main thing is winning and if it’s an ugly 1-0 at Partick it will show we can do what it takes to get the win.”


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With red-hot striker Lawrence Shankland scoring all four goals last week (see video at bottom of page) to take his tally to date as a United player to six in five competitive starts, odds are there will be a few goals down at Firhill.

What’s impressed Stanton even more than that scoring rate, though, is the striker’s team ethic.

He knows the frontman appreciates success will come via a team effort and, on that score, is more than willing to do his bit.

“You saw Shanks score four goals and then, just before he came off, he’s tracking right back into his own half to put a tackle in.

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Lawrence Shankland bagged four goals in United’s opening league game.

“You need that in a team if you are going to win a league.

“Obviously, having a player with the quality he has helps, and him scoring right away is a massive boost for the club.

“But Shanks does not score the goals without big Louis Appere’s two assists. He’s put the ball right on his head both times and Paul McMullan put a great ball on his head as well for another.

“Shanks has to be in the right place to attack it and that’s the quality he brings to the team but he didn’t take the ball himself and beat 11 players before putting it in the net.

“You need the team and you need the other players contributing as well.

“Last Saturday it started right from the back and I think the boys there were excellent. There is a great group of lads in that dressing-room and we all want to work for each other.”

Stanton also believes the game knowledge that’s now present in Robbie Neilson’s squad means, when the going gets tough, like it could against the Jags, the wins will still be chalked up.

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Robbie Neilson.

“We have plenty experienced players now – ones who have been at big teams and played at a high level of football – and that has got to be good for us.

“It means you can get through situations like last week when we lost a goal but we went right up the park and scored to retake the lead.

“Nobody was interrupted. It was against the run of play but there was an instant response and that’s what you need.

“It’s something that comes with that experience.”

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