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Glenn Middleton: Count me in for Dundee United Championship scrap

Middleton insists United will be targeting the title from day one of next season.

Glenn Middleton
A gutted Glenn Middleton. Image: SNS

Glenn Middleton is ready for a Championship scrap after finding a “home” at Dundee United.

The Tangerines were condemned to the second tier following a 3-2 defeat against Motherwell last Sunday — a disappointing denouement to a disastrous campaign for the Tannadice outfit.

Boss Jim Goodwin was candid in the aftermath of the Fir Park reverse, offering to “rip up” the deals of any contracted players who don’t fancy sticking around to guide United back to the Premiership.

Middleton, 23, is tied up until the summer of 2025 after joining the Terrors last summer — and was crystal clear as he reflected on Goodwin’s words.

Glenn Middleton
Middleton scored five goals in 35 outings. Image: SNS

“I’ve found a home at Dundee United,” he said definitively. “That was the thing I was desperate for when I signed last season. Obviously, this season hasn’t gone the way that anyone connected with the club would have wanted.

“But when I listen to the manager (Jim Goodwin) and look at the stands on Sunday — we still had fans clapping us — it shows what this club is. If you can’t buy into that, then I don’t know what you will buy in to.

The pressure will be even higher next season and it’s up to us to stand up to that. The pressure, as the gaffer has told us, will be to win EVERY game next year. That’s the mentality we need. There’s no hiding place.

“I can guarantee that, moving forward, it will be drilled into us exactly what is at stake and what we need to do. Everyone who walks into that building next season knows they will be training to win the league. Simple as that.”

Glenn Middleton apologises to United supporters

The former Rangers and St Johnstone kid added: “On behalf of everyone, and I know it doesn’t count for much, but we apologise to the fans for the way this season has gone. It hasn’t been good enough.”

Indeed, the ovation the United players received from the travelling Arabs on Sunday only served to make Middleton feel even WORSE.

Dundee United fans.
Middleton was humbled by the support United received in the face of relegation. Image: SNS

Perhaps due to the fact their relegation was effectively confirmed the previous Wednesday, there was very little shock or seethe as the squad made their way over to acknowledge the fans.

“That actually makes it feel worse,” said Middleton. “You know those are the people you let down — fans that have come to support you and, even in the face of relegation, still supported you.

“There’s no getting away from how this season has gone. So for them to turn up the way they did, just shows that there is a passionate fanbase that wants this club to do well and wants us to succeed.

“You don’t get that connection everywhere, and next season — from the very first day of pre-season — we need to rebuild that relationship and trust.”

Home truths for Dundee United squad

As well as an inevitable change in personnel — Ryan Edwards, Liam Smith, Ian Harkes, Peter Pawlett, Loick Ayina and Jamie McGrath have already departed — there must be a change of mentality at Tannadice.

Goodwin stated that the squad were “too nice” as they crashed to relegation; words that rang lamentably true to Middleton.

Dundee United manager Jim Goodwin and with player Glenn Middleton.
Goodwin, left, and Middleton. Image: SNS

“These messages coming from the manager are probably things we already knew ourselves,” he acknowledged.

“It’s one thing knowing it, but it’s another thing to hear it from someone else. And sometimes that’s exactly what you need, to reflect and understand what’s gone wrong and what we need to do.”

And Middleton has been buoyed by the club’s decision to hand Goodwin a two-year extension to his contract despite the Tangerines’ descent to the second tier.

Middleton added: “The way he speaks to the media is the same way he speaks to us. He’s direct and to the point, which is a positive. He tells us how it is — in terms of what he sees and what he wants from us — and that will be key moving into next season.”