Writer: Arab Jacques
Date:Friday December 1 2006
Craig Levein thinks this season SPL is one of the most competitive yet, with just 11 points separating 9 teams, from Dunfermline (12points) to Hibernian & Hearts both on 23points.
Although, he seems confident that he can lead Dundee United out of the bottom part of the table, but refuses to say that he has set his sights on a top 6 place.
In his weekly column for the Daily Record, Craig Levein pointed out several reasons why he thinks the relegation dogfight will be a lot closer at the end of the season.
He said, "In recent seasons, teams have dropped off at the foot of the table and become isolated, but I don't see that happening this time."
"From what I've seen so far, there is nothing between the teams in the bottom six and that`s why January is potentially a very important month for all clubs as we look to gain any advantage we can in the transfer window."
"Every team goes into games at the moment not sure of the outcome. Motherwell lost six goals to Hibs one week, then put four past Falkirk the next and results like that are just one example of how competitive this league is."
During his 4 years at Tynecastle, Levein had a good record with Hearts and took them into the top 6 every season he was at the club.
During the 2000/20001 season they ended 5th, then 6th, then 3rd and finally 3rd during the 2003/2004 campaign, before left to join Leicester half way through the 2004/2005 season, but Hearts still ended 5th that year.
He continued, "I was in a fortunate position at Hearts of being at a side in the top six who were challenging for Europe most seasons, but at United I face a different situation."
"We've managed to win 3 of our last 4 games and, ironically, the best football we've played came four an hour in the game we lost to Dunfermline at East End Park."
After the result against Dunfermline, when Dundee United dominated for 80minutes only to lose 2-1 after two very late goals from the Pars, a superstitious Craig Levein has admitted that he will always value points over performance.
"The quality of football played does not always guarantee a positive result and a bit of luck here and there can often prove decisive."
Although, overall, Levein is confident that Dundee United can continue to progress in the league and wont be struggling against relegation at the end of the season.
"Mix the teams up any way you like and one could finish 6th or 12th, but I've got to praise the United players for the efforts they have given me in recent weeks."
"I'm confident that with the same levels of effort and endeavor, in the weeks to come, that we`ll continue to climb up the table."
After the inconsistency of the Dundee United team in recent seasons, I`m sure most of the United supporters wont hold their breaths.....
Date:Friday December 1 2006
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