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Tam Courts staying grounded despite Dundee United’s flying start to season

Celtic v Dundee United – cinch Premiership – Celtic Park
(Image credit: Jane Barlow)

Dundee United head coach Tam Courts insists his targets remain the same despite his side’s stunning start to the season.

The Tangerines made it three cinch Premiership wins in a row against Motherwell at Tannadice on Saturday, with the 2-1 victory coming thanks to goals by Ryan Edwards and Charlie Mulgrew either side of a Tony Watt penalty for the Steelmen.

The result further strengthened United’s hold on third place in the table, sitting on Saturday night just behind Rangers and league leaders Hearts on goal difference.

It is a huge change of fortunes for a team that finished the campaign in ninth place last season.

However, Courts is determined to keep feet firmly planted on the ground at the club and is looking no further ahead than Wednesday’s trip to Livingston, before the Tayside derby at home with St Johnstone on Saturday.

The 40-year-old said: “We’re not really shifting targets. The key thing for us is to understand where we wanted to be.

“I mentioned stats previously where if you get to 1.4 points per game that was typically what you need to finish top six.

“I think we wanted to have a big impact this year on the league because the boys were a little bit frustrated with their eventual finish last season.

“It’s a solid start, doing fine and there is lots more to come.

“I think we recognise it’s a really big week as we end the quarter. Livi on Wednesday then St Johnstone, two mammoth games and we need to be ready for them.”

Mulgrew received most of the plaudits for his man-of-the-match performance on Saturday, with the veteran providing a stunning assist for Edwards’ goal as well as finding the back of the net himself with an acrobatic finish.

However, Courts was also keen to praise on-loan Manchester United midfielder Dylan Levitt, with the Welsh international pulling the strings in the middle of the park.

Courts added: “Dylan is a top young player, his technical quality is top level.

“The key thing for us is to make sure we keep pushing him, challenging him, because he’s here to develop himself and us to evolve the way we want to play.

“He was a joy to watch.”

Courts was also pleased that his players had recovered from conceding Watt’s equaliser to go on and win the game.

He said: “The key thing for us was to stay composed, stick to the plan and recognise we’ve more than enough qualities to get back in front.

“I’m proud of the players for getting through that and eventually getting the winner.”

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