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Dundee United boss Robbie Neilson remains upbeat despite first-leg stalemate

Robbie Neilson at full-time.
Robbie Neilson at full-time.

Dundee United manager Robbie Neilson remained upbeat despite his players not getting their noses in front in the play-off final.

The battle to be in the Premiership next season goes on to Sunday at the Simple Digital Arena in Paisley, with the Tangerines and St Mirren tied at 0-0 after a tense first leg at Tannadice.

Neilson wasn’t too downbeat, though.

He said: “I was really pleased with the performance.

“We wanted to win the game but if you had offered me a 0-0 beforehand I would have taken that.

“These games are always edgy but we handled the pressure well.

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“It is now up to St Mirren to handle the pressure of a full home crowd,” added Neilson.

“When you have a gate of three or four thousand fans then it goes up to seven or eight, sometimes those extra ones won’t back you the same.

“So they will have to deal with that.

“We handled that tonight and they will have to do it on Sunday when we have 1,500 of our hardcore support there making noise.

“We are excited about it now and looking forward to Sunday.

“It would have been great to take a lead down there but it’s all to play for.”

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Neilson insists the Buddies now face some serious pressure on their own park.

“For me, the pressure is all on St Mirren,” he added.

“They are the Premiership team and they have 90 minutes to retain that.

“We need to try to control the game a bit more. There was pressure and no one wanted to make a mistake.

“Going down to St Mirren, there is less pressure on us.”

Neilson won’t push his players physically in the short space of time between legs.

They will be doing light training before staying in the west on the eve of the match.

United will do some light training before travelling through to the west on Saturday.

He said: “The next couple of days are about recovery.

“We will do everything we can to get fit and ready.”

Buddies boss Oran Kearney seemed pleased to have come away with a draw.

He said: “We will go back to our place and the key thing now is we have to win, so we just have to go out and do it.”

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