Dundee United boss Tam Courts expects cup final motivation to fire Hearts

The Jambos are guaranteed third place in the league.

By Press Association Published: 23 April 2022 - 9.24am

Dundee United boss Tam Courts believes the quest for Scottish Cup final places will keep Sunday’s opponents Hearts motivated in their final five cinch Premiership fixtures.

The Jambos are guaranteed third place in the league, sitting 16 points clear of the Taysiders ahead of their meeting at Tannadice.

And following their 2-1 cup semi-final win over Edinburgh rivals Hibernian at Hampden Park last weekend, Robbie Neilson’s side will face Rangers in the showpiece occasion at the national stadium on May 21.

Courts’ side confirmed their top-half finish with a 2-2 draw against local rivals Dundee in the final pre-split game and are looking for their first win of the season over Hearts after two defeats and a draw.

But the United boss expects the Gorgie men will not lack motivation.

He said: “The great thing from their perspective is they now have players playing for a cup final place.

“You look at Hearts coming up from the Championship last season, they have had a brilliant season.

“It is a squad two, three years in the making.

“They have quality throughout the squad which has been used to the best possible effect by the management team, hence the reason they are third and in the Scottish Cup final.

“The good thing from our perspective is we have pushed them really closely on the three occasions that we have played them this year, particularly, the last two.

“So for us at this stage of the season, the negative pressure of getting into the top-six is off, so I like to think we have the squad in a good place to try to go to win the game.

“The key thing for us is that we have proven that on our day we are a match for anyone.

“The carrot of getting the first victory is highly motivational for us.”

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