ROBBIE NEILSON had a double reason to be smiling after Dundee United thumped Dundee 6-2 at Tannadice last night.

The celebrating Tayside boss was delighted with the display of his players as they turned over their city rivals AND he was overjoyed at the 14,108 attendance, the highest at the ground since a visit from Rangers in 2009.

Neilson insisted it showed just how far the club have progressed since he took over in October, last year.

The United gaffer, speaking to the Dundee Couirer, said: “Seeing Tannadice sold out pleases me just as much as the result.

“When I came in here we had four or five thousand, now we’ve put 9,000 on the gate.

“The fans have followed the club for the last few years in the Championship and haven’t had much joy back for it.

“So, we’re delighted to give them a performance and a result like that.”

Neilson added: “We were sensational. We knew it would be tough because Dundee are a good team.

“Some of the football was pretty specia,l but there is still room for improvement.

“We got into good areas and the quality was there.”

Neilson was fulsome in his praise of every one of his players, but singled out two-goal Calum Butcher, who switched from midfield to centre-half during the game.

He said: “Calum Butcher was outstanding, he played two positions for us and was excellent in both of them.

“I could go through all of them because they were all excellent.”

United sit top of the Championship table with maximum points after four games but Neilson was keen to stress that it is still very early in the season.

He added: “It’s a good three points. We’re just four games into the season so it’s early days.

“We need to enjoy it then calm down a wee bit because we have Arbroath next week and in football things can change quickly.”

DEJECTED…Dundee boss James McPake saw his team hammered.

United raced to a 4-1 half-time lead against the opponents who were relegated from the Premiership last season.

Butcher opened the scoring in the 14th minute, but Kane Hemmings levelled shortly afterwards to give the visitors some hope.

But three goals in eight minutes from Louis Appere, Lawrence Shankland (penalty) and Butcher again flattened them

Jack Hamilton was beaten again immediately after the turnaround with a Ian Harkes effort that took a wicked deflection and, after Andrew Nelson had pulled one back, Cammy Smith fired in the sixth to round off a comprehensive victory.

Disconsolate Dens manager James McPake said his team “let a lot of people down” and added: “That’s not me shirking the blame.

“If you can’t go and stick your head on crosses in a derby and defend your own box then there’s a lot wrong.

“It doesn’t matter how well or how badly you played, if you can’t defend your box you’re going to have problems.”

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About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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