Tam Courts hopes Dundee United’s cup success can boost league form

United halted a six-match losing run to win 2-1 at Rugby Park.

By Press Association Published: 23 January 2022 - 10.00am

Dundee United head coach Tam Courts believes their Scottish Cup victory at Kilmarnock can settle his players down after a poor run in the league.

United halted a six-match losing run to win 2-1 at Rugby Park and set up a last-16 clash with Partick Thistle at Firhill.

The game was not without its challenges – Killie had the better of the chances after Rory McKenzie cancelled out Marc McNulty’s early opener.

But Dylan Levitt supplied a classy winner in the second period of extra-time – it was the Manchester United loan player’s first in senior football.

United have close to a full squad following some major selection issues before the winter break and Courts is looking for an upturn in their cinch Premiership results when his players host Ross County on Wednesday.

“I think it will give them a lot of confidence,” Courts said. “Footballers are competitors. We had a lot of positive results and performances at the start of the season. We’ve not picked up a lot of wins as of late so that will settle them down.

“I have always felt calm and clear and tried to put a little bit of composure and make sure the players know that I am still fully in control, which I always have been.

“So I think it will probably just give them a little bit of validation about the work we are been doing and get them into a position where we can win games and get us into the next round of the cup. So I think they will be feeling good after that.”

Kyle Lafferty showed flashes of threat after coming off the bench on his Killie return and manager Derek McInnes was also encouraged by Dylan Tait’s debut following his loan move from Hibernian.

The 20-year-old midfielder signalled to come off after suffering a strain when hitting a shot in extra-time but he had to continue when Blair Alston picked up a dead leg.

“We were ready to take Dylan off but Blair flashed his stripes and superseded him and he came off,” McInnes said. “It wasn’t ideal but Dylan carried on manfully.

“I’m delighted with his performance. I love people taking responsibility and getting on the ball. I know he gave the ball away a couple of times but when you’re on the ball more than any other player, you are going to give the ball away more.

“He passed the ball, kept possession, brought a bit of thought to us, which I was delighted with.”

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