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Paul Hegarty says Dundee United need to make the most of their strikers

Celtic v Dundee United – cinch Premiership – Celtic Park
(Image credit: Steve Welsh)

Former Dundee United captain and manager Paul Hegarty claims his old team need to get the ball in the box more often and give Tony Watt the chance to show his goalscoring prowess.

United have scored 26 goals in 30 cinch Premiership matches and sit just outside the top six on goal difference.

Hegarty said: “It’s been frustrating for me. They have a lot of good possession but there’s no end product and that’s what I would love to see, and I know the punters would love to see that.

“The goalscoring column tells you that they are not the most potent in the opposition box – it’s about a goal a game.

“They have got (Marc) McNulty and Nicky Clark and Watt. Get the ball in the box, get them in the box, and put the opposition under pressure. Because they can all score goals.

“I would like to see (Ian) Harkes and people like that play more telling passes. It’s usually sideways or back passes. That’s fine to keep possession if there’s nothing on but these guys have got something in their locker but they don’t do it often enough.”

Watt arrived at Tannadice in the winter break as the Premiership’s top scorer with nine goals for Motherwell in the first half of the campaign.

He has only scored one goal in 11 games for United, which came against Motherwell.

“He’s not in the box that often,” Hegarty said. “Most of his good play is outside the box.

“He was in the box more often than not with Motherwell and they were creating chances for him and he was tucking them away. He’s not getting that at United.

“We had the same problem last year when Lawrence Shankland was there. He wasn’t scoring goals because we weren’t giving him the opportunity.

“I think that’s the easy bit – getting the ball in the box. The hardest bit is to score a goal and that’s why goalscorers are at a premium.”

:: Paul Hegarty was promoting exclusively live Premier Sports coverage of Dundee v Rangers this Sunday from 3.30pm and Dundee United v Celtic this Monday from 7.15pm. Premier Sports is available on Sky, Virgin TV and the Premier Player from £12.99 per month, and on Amazon Prime as an add-on subscription.

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