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Disappointed Neilson ‘not panicking’ despite Dundee United’s Betfred loss

Robbie Neilson.
Robbie Neilson.

The shock Tannadice defeat at the hands of East Fife left Dundee United boss Robbie Neilson bitterly disappointed.

However, even if, as looks likely, it will see the Tangerines exit the Betfred Cup at the group stage for a second year running, he is not panicking.

On a night that proved as awful as unexpected, United went down 2-0 to finish their group on seven points after Tuesday’s game.

Robbie Neilson.

It means they could even miss out on qualification due to ending up in third place and, if they do end up as runners-up, they may not be one of the four teams who progress to the knockout stages via that position.

If the thought of that frustrates the gaffer, he was not about to get too carried away by the defeat.

“I’m just disappointed. We’ve had a decent group stage,” he said.

“We went down to Tynecastle and did well against Hearts, had two good games and then we’ve had that (last night’s defeat).

“It was not good enough but I’d rather do that now than we do it in the league.

“It’s important that we learn from it and we don’t get another one like that.

“The performances have been good but it was just one of those nights for us. We need to look at it and see what we can do better.”

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While he won’t accept a repeat of last night’s display, Robbie is aware these early-season ties do throw up such results.

“It’s like anything in these group stages, most teams have off nights because you are so early in the season and we went Friday, Tuesday, Friday, Tuesday and maybe it caught up with us a wee bit. We’re still working them hard, we’re still in pre-season to an extent.

“It’s the balance of trying to get fitness but also trying to win the games and maybe we weren’t just quite at it.

“We should have been but we weren’t at the levels we wanted to be.”

United now head to England at the end of the week and a friendly against Shrewsbury Town on Saturday afternoon.

The allocation of tickets for the game the Shrews sent up to Tannadice, has not been completely sold out.

Fans planning to head south will be able to get briefs at the ground prior to kick-off.

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