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Glenn Middleton: Dundee United v Raith Rovers blockbuster is worthy of Premiership

Middleton reckons the showdown will be a 'proper game'

Glenn Middleton is relishing the visit of Raith Rovers
Glenn Middleton is relishing the visit of Raith Rovers. Image: SNS

Glenn Middleton reckons Dundee United’s Championship clash with Raith Rovers would be worthy of Premiership billing.

The table-topping Tangerines are yet to lose a Championship game this term, claiming 34 points from a possible 42 and racking up an impressive goal difference of 28.

Given United’s relentlessness, Rovers must be commended for keeping pace at the summit.

Ian Murray’s men are just one point behind the Tannadice outfit and have won five of their last six league matches.

The Fifers have gained plenty of admirers for their free-flowing football and remarkable resilience, with Middleton predicting that the Kirkcaldy club will go toe-to-toe with the Terrors next Saturday.

And he can’t wait.

Glenn Middleton of Dundee United cuts a frustrated figure against Ayr United
Middleton huffed and puffed before eventually creating the decisive goal. Image: SNS

“It will be a proper game of football with two teams genuinely going at each other,” said Middleton. “Almost as good as any Premiership match you could come across, in my opinion.

“I think both teams have quality at that level.

All credit to them (Rovers) for everything they have done this season. They are a very good side and a top team in this league. They have a few players who, I am sure, will try to cause us problems.

“It is a massive game; one we are all really looking forward to. I’m sure they will be as well.”

Answering key question

United skipper Ross Docherty described Saturday’s visit of Ayr United as “a wee test”, given the Tangerines had exited the SPFL Trust Trophy and Scottish Cup before seeing Raith claim Championship top-spot on Friday night.

While the contest was far from a classic, the winger reckons they passed that examination.

Dundee United's Kai Fotheringham's now-familiar celebration
Kai Fotheringham’s now-familiar celebration. Image: SNS

“It was a little hurdle to overcome but we have shown we can do that,” continued Middleton. “As a team, we stick together. Everyone knows what’s expected of us this year.

“Off the back of two poor results, we have come back into the league and kept that momentum going.”

All that matters

Middleton created the decisive goal after 63 minutes, with his in-swinging corner-kick causing havoc in the box. Ayr keeper Charlie Albinson spilled the ball at the feet of Kai Fotheringham, who prodded home.

The strike was particularly timely, as United were beginning to look in danger of losing their way – a couple of sloppy passes; appearing short on ideas – and some fans were getting audibly anxious.

“We said at half-time, as long as we remained in control of the game, to block out any noise that may affect you,” added Middleton. “We just had to keep doing what we were doing.

“It is not like we were playing badly; it was just the final ball that maybe wasn’t there. But all that matters is the three points and that’s what we got.”

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