McNamara wary of St Mirren threat
Ryan Gauld has been a key man for Dundee United this season.

Second-placed Dundee United travel to Paisley on Thursday to face St Mirren, who lie eighth.

The visitors will hope to have their full squad available, but winger Gary Mackay-Steven faces a fitness test as he looks to overcome a knock. Full-back Keith Watson returns after missing Saturday's victory over Ross County through injury.

Meanwhile, Buddies manager Danny Lennon has Gary Teale and David Barron ruled out.

The hosts have struggled for goals and points in recent weeks, having mustered just two goalless draws from their last four matches.

United come into the game in much better shape, having scored four goals in four of their last six games, which have all been victories.

Lennon praised his side's opponents, saying: "We know just how well Dundee United are playing. It's six straight wins and 22 goals scored in the process. Absolutely incredible.

"It will be a stern challenge for us defensively. We have to respect what they are doing, with the dynamics and movement of their play. From middle to front they are dangerous and their full-backs love to go forward too.

"They have high energy and Jackie deserves a great deal of credit for inheriting these players and turning them into high-impact SPFL players.

"But like any opposition we look at where their strengths are. But you can also find weaknesses and it's about trying to counteract their good points and exploit the others. What is important for my team is that we play to our strengths.

"The last time we played United, there was no doubt that was our worst performance of the season. There was glimpses of that on Saturday against Motherwell. We need to get back to doing ordinary things extraordinarily well."

"When we go out and stick to a game plan, we are a good team. But when we abandon those principles we are a bad team."

Meanwhile, Arabs manager Jackie McNamara said: "We will have every respect for St Mirren.

"They like to get the ball down and play like ourselves so it should be open in that respect.

"We're on a good run of form right now but we know what St Mirren are capable of on their day.

"We'll need to be wary of them and we will be because our aim is to keep this run going.

"There are no easy games in this division and that will definitely be the case when we go through there on Wednesday."

The hosts can go seventh with a victory, leapfrogging Hibernian. However, should United emerge triumphant, they will go clear in second if Aberdeen slip up at home to Motherwell.

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