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Tam Courts issues final rallying cry as Dundee United boss hails European qualification: ‘This means everything’

Proud: Courts
Proud: Courts

Tam Courts watched his Dundee United players secure European football for the first time in a decade before declaring: ‘The job isn’t done’.

The Tangerines produced a spirited comeback against Celtic, with Dylan Levitt’s screamer cancelling out a Giorgos Giakoumakis header.

While the result secured the Premiership title for the Hoops, it was also a memorable night for United, who will enter the Europa Conference League qualifying rounds next term.

With Ross County — who lost out to Rangers last night — now unable to catch the Tangerines, the race for fourth place is between Motherwell and United.

 

The Steelmen lead Courts’ charges by a point but face an onerous trip to Celtic Park on Saturday. United face County in Dingwall.

And Courts has issued one last rallying cry.

“It’s great to secure European football but the incentive now is to push on on Saturday to get fourth,” said the Tannadice boss. “The job isn’t done — there’s an opportunity to pick up a further three points.”

Asked what European qualification for the first time since 2012/13 meant for United, Courts continued: “It means everything.

“We give everything to this club. It’s a club I have a strong affinity with and I have a great relationship with the staff, the players, sporting director [Tony Asghar] and owner [Mark Ogren].”

Bold call

Courts rolled the dice with his team selection, leaving out experienced campaigners Tony Watt and Charlie Mulgrew, and in-form defender Ross Graham.

And he was beaming with pride after watching United battle back from a deficit to claim a gutsy draw, particularly given much of the focus in the build-up had been on Celtic.

Charlie Mulgrew tests Joe Hart

“I’m pleased we’ve stepped forwards on a big night and the players showcased club really well,” Courts added.

“We’ve got full respect for every opponent. All credit to Celtic but, by the same token, we wanted tonight to be about Dundee United.

“Yes, the champions-elect were coming to town but we’re not here to play a supporting role. This result will allow us to go to Dingwall aiming to achieve fourth, with a European spot already assured.

“It was always going to be a big ask to take something [against Celtic] and, in the first half, we saw a spirited performance.

“At half-time, it was more a challenge to be an attacking threat — and on another night we’d have taken three points.”

Dundee United 1-1 Celtic: Dylan Levitt screamer sends Tam Courts’ men back into Europe

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