A half-time pep talk may have helped bring about Wato Kuate’s stunning second half goal against Morton, according to Dundee United manager Ray McKinnon.
The former Manchester City youth player announced himself to the United support – and no doubt to Falkirk manager Peter Houston – with a rocket of a 30-yard goal to make it 2-0 for the hosts in their comfortable play-off quarter-final triumph.
But McKinnon revealed it was a verbal rocket he got in the interval.
He said: “I didn’t think he was particularly great in the first half.
“I had a chat with him at half-time about bucking his ideas up. It was quite a strike. Well done Wato!
“It was some strike and the timing of it was important.
“His celebration was something else, too. I didn’t think he could recover that quick – but he clearly can.”
On a match that turned into a comfortable night in the end, McKinnon said: “I’m very pleased.
“It was a very tricky tie, against a good, hard-working side with a good manager.”
McKinnon confirmed that Willo Flood was withdrawn as a precaution and should be fine for Tuesday night’s semi-final first leg against Falkirk.
“We’re back on Tuesday for another really tough game,” he said.
“Falkirk have done well in this league.
“But we’re at home and we’re in form. We’re starting to score goals again.
“I think we’ve got some momentum. We should have won our last six or seven – and now the ones that were hitting the bar and post are hitting the back of the net.”
Morton boss Jim Duffy said: “It was similar to Tuesday. In the first half we were outstanding but after they scored they took control.
“In the end they won the game comfortably.
“They were clinical and you need that sort of firepower to get through. I thought the result was harsh on us, though.”
On who will win the semi-final, Duffy noted: “They are two terrific clubs with good managers. It will be neck and neck and I wouldn’t like to call it.”