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Dundee United’s Mark Connolly not giving up on title hopes just yet

Mark Connolly.
Mark Connolly.

Dundee United are now a massive 11 points behind league leaders Ross County with just nine games of the regular season to go but Mark Connolly insists no-one at Tannadice has raised the white flag on their title ambitions just yet.

The Tangerines slipped up 2-1 at Partick Thistle last weekend while the Staggies were beating Morton at home.

The Highland side further extended their lead at the top of the table on Tuesday night as they defeated Falkirk 2-1.

County are also in action tomorrow evening in a Highland derby against Inverness Caley Thistle meaning they could be 14 points ahead of United before they travel to face Dunfermline at East End Park 24 hours later.

However, 27-year-old centre-half Connolly is adamant there is still a lot to play for.

He said: “We’ve got nine games to go and we’ll keep going until the end.

“It’s difficult. We knew what we had to do, especially the new boys that have come in, and the rest of lads. We knew it was going to be tough and it (Partick defeat) has made it a lot more difficult now.

“But we just need to focus on ourselves and Dunfermline on Saturday.

“We’ve got to go again and got to try to win every game until the end of the season and see what happens.

“It’s not over yet. We’ve still to play Ross County twice and there’s still nine games to go so you never know what can happen.”

Connolly added: “Saturday wasn’t good enough. We could have ended up winning the game in the second half but, unfortunately, recently we haven’t been taking our chances and made it hard for ourselves.

“We sort of left the back door open because we were going for it, desperate for the win, but ended up bitterly disappointed.

“It’s difficult and it’s been frustrating but all we can do is not worry about what’s happened before but worry about what’s happening now.

“We’ve just got to kill teams off. We weren’t good enough on Saturday at times but at other times we’ve created so many chances that we’ve got to take.”

Connolly admitted that United’s desperate desire to secure all three points on Saturday ultimately cost them dear as they were caught out pushing for a winner.

The Irishman, who was signed by Tannadice boss Robbie Neilson in January, said: “I’ve only come in recently and we’ve come into a situation where we need to win every game so we’re not really hanging about to get a point.

“That isn’t going to help us to get automatic promotion. We went for it and left ourselves open at the back and they’ve scored.

“It’s definitely made it a lot more difficult.”

Meanwhile, United striker Pavol Safranko has been called up to the Slovakia national squad for the upcoming UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying fixtures against Hungary and Wales.

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