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Dundee United defender Tam Scobbie casts his vote for momentum

Tam Scobbie.
Tam Scobbie.

Dundee United defender Tam Scobbie wants to build momentum for the league campaign by kicking off with a win in the cup.

The Tangerines open the 2017-18 season today by welcoming Raith Rovers to Tannadice in the first of their Betfred Cup group C matches.

Every man and his dog know promotion back to the Premiership is the only show in town for United, having missed out in the play-off final last time around.

Scobbie may be a new boy but he knows full well the Championship title is what really matters for Ray McKinnon’s rebuilt team.

However, he insists that does not mean taking the cup lightly.

Indeed, Scobbie believes a good run in the Betfred can help them hit the ground running when the first league fixture up at Inverness comes around on August 5.

The summer recruit from St Johnstone said: “I know this is a cup game but if we want to achieve what we want to this season then it starts now.

“The main aim is to get this club back into the Premiership but that means winning games almost every week.

“To do so you have to get the mentality right.

“That means approaching every game exactly the same way.

“For me, we have to be right at it and set the standards from day one.

“A lot of teams will look at this as an extension of pre-season and there were a few clubs last year who took it lightly and went out.

“Look at what happened to them – look at the seasons they went on to have.

“Football is about getting momentum and if we’re going to have a successful season we need to get going on day one.

“You find teams who win leagues more often than not get a good cup run also, so want to be in every competition for as long as possible.

“It is about having good habits, having standards and meeting them every week if you can.”

Scobbie has spent pre-season honing his fitness and getting used to his new colleagues after five years at Saints.

“I have only been here a few weeks but I can see in the dressing-room we have the mentality to win the league,” he said.

“I have really enjoyed it so far.

“The boys have been brilliant with me.

“We have had a few new signings so everyone has been getting to know each other.

“The set-up here is fantastic and you have everything you need.

“We have been doing double sessions to get up to speed with the fitness aspect of it and we’ve been playing games as well.

“The set-up of this club is designed for the Premiership but we have to earn our place back there.

“The character is there and you need that in the Championship because teams will make life very tough for us.

“The players who were here last season know what it’s about and the ones that have come in, like me, are determined to make a positive impact.

“It’s going to be a difficult year and United will still be a scalp for most teams but that’s something we’re going to have to deal with.”

Scobbie will obviously be more interested in what is happening at the back but that doesn’t stop him being excited about the attacking talent at manager McKinnon’s disposal.

He said:  “The gaffer has signed players with pace and guys who can play out wide so we have a lot of attacking options.

“We also have Scotty Fraser, who is an unbelievable footballer, so it’s exciting times for the club.

“I think the manager wants to add to the strength in depth because you need that but I think we have a good squad, the boys are flying and we can’t wait to get started now.

“We have been working hard on the way we want to play.

“It is about keeping the ball but passing it with a purpose.

“There is no point keeping the ball for 20 passes but going nowhere so we have been working on keeping it and getting at the opposition in order to score goals.

“We have the players to bang goals in for us so there’s a lot to come together over the next few months.”

As for the opposition, like the rest of the players and coaches at Tannadice, Scobbie has a lot of respect for Raith in general and manager Barry Smith in particular.

He added:“Raith will be a tough tie and they’ve got a new manager so it will be competitive.

“They will put us under pressure and it will be a good test for us to see where we are.”

Admission is by cash turnstiles and prices are £10 for adults and £5 for concessions.

The Eddie Thompson and George Fox Stands are open for the United support, while Raith fans will be housed in the Shed.

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