Charlie Mulgrew has described Dundee United’s derby draw as ‘a sore one’ — but insists the Tangerines must ‘quickly change mindset’ and push for Europe.
Mulgrew belied a prohibitive angle to curl home a sumptuous free-kick against Dundee, adding to Nicky Clark’s opener to give United a 2-0 lead.
However, Danny Mullen and Charlie Adam struck in the space of a whirlwind 60 seconds, forcing the hosts to accept a share of the spoils.
The result was sufficient to ensure Tam Courts’ charges will be playing top six football after the split for the first time since 2015 — but that did little to ease Mulgrew’s frustration.
Asked if the draw felt more like a defeat, the former Celtic and Scotland star said: “Yes, it does. It’s a sore one.
“We were 2-0 up after an hour in a derby so it’s going to hurt. We are in the top six but it’s so hard to think like that because it was such a sore one.
“But we need to look at the positives about where we are sitting in the league.
“We need to quickly change our mindset and get ready for the top six. We would have taken this position at the start of the year, however it came about.”
Indeed, United remain in fourth spot and firmly in contention to secure a return to European football — a stage on which the club have not performed since losing to Dinamo Moscow in 2012.
“It’s been a funny season in terms of results, with no one really grabbing that fourth spot,” continued Mulgrew. “Now we are sitting in fourth, we’ve got to push for that European place.
“It would be amazing — I would love to bring European football to Dundee United.
“I think all the lads and management team would love it. It would be a great achievement and it’s up to us to put in the performances.”
‘I’m sure he claimed a few!’
Mulgrew, meanwhile, responded to Mark McGhee after the Dundee boss suggested that the defender’s sensational free-kick carried more than a hint of luck.
“I think Mark McGhee claimed it wasn’t [deliberate],” smiled Mulgrew. “That’s because he came to me after the game and asked me. Now, did I mean to put it in the postage stamp top-corner? Maybe not.
“But I meant to put it on target, and it’s a goal, so I will take it.
“I’m sure he claimed a few in his day!
“In that area, any footballer knows that you hit the ball towards the target; smash it towards the keeper. If it gets a touch, or the keeper is unsighted, it goes in. That one happened to go in the top-corner.”