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United can cope with pressure of being favourites for promotion alongside Dundee

Dundee United manager Robbie Neilson.
Dundee United manager Robbie Neilson.

Even before a ball’s been kicked, Dundee United and Dundee have been labelled the big two in the Championship this season.

If that means extra pressure on the city clubs, Tangerines boss Robbie Neilson’s attitude is ‘bring it on’.

And his logic is simple – the Tannadice Street neighbours are being called that simply because it’s true.

Robbie Neilson.

“Everyone is trying to keep the glare away from them but there’s no denying we are the two biggest teams in the league this season,” said Robbie.

“There’s pressure on a lot of teams, I think Dundee will be the same. They’ll be the favourites to come back up as well because they’ve just come straight down.

“There’s a couple of other teams in there as well because they’ve invested a lot.

“You have to accept that and just take it on the chin and prove there’s a reason why people are saying that.

“We are more than comfortable to go into these games and be the guys that have to take the pressure.”

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Robbie is happy with the condition of his squad going into Saturday’s opener against Inverness Caley Thistle but is still keen to add an attacking player for the left of his midfield.

“We’re still looking to bring one more in, I’ve said that for a while and we are still working very hard on that. There’s a few have moved out recently but the rest of the squad I’m very pleased with.”

The latest departure was Rachid Bouhenna to Romanians Sepsi and, while he would have been happy to have kept the 28-year-old, in the end he feels the move was best for both parties.

Rachid Bouhenna was the most recent departure from Tannadice.

“Rachid did well for the season and I think we saw the best of him towards the end of the season,” said Robbie.

“It was more so for his wife and the kids, they hadn’t settled. He wanted to go back to France and he got the opportunity to take them back and go somewhere else with a longer contract so it worked out for both.”

Meanwhile, United have been linked with a move for free agent Elliott Frear. The winger left Motherwell at the end of last season.

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