Writer: Arab Jacques
Date:Monday December 4 2006
Dundee United have been leaking goals for several seasons now, but Craig Levein reckons he has the solution to solving the defence`s plumbing problem...his own experiences as a player!
Former Hearts & Cowdenbeath defender Levein says he is relishing the challenge of whipping the Dundee United defence into shape and calling own his own experiences to help improve United`s backline.
'Working with the defenders is a part of the job I really enjoy because, having been a defender myself, it's what I know best,' said Levein.
'I know the bits and pieces of defending although just as much effort goes into preparing the rest of the team.'
'I have seen improvements from the defenders but there is more to come because I don't think any of them have been beyond reproach.'
Since taking over at Tannadice, the whole United team has looked more organised and consistency has been the key to Levein`s recent success, with Levein been announced as SPL Manager-Of-The-Month for November after 3 wins in 4 games boosted United off the bottom of the table.
Levein was hoping he wouldn`t have to make any changes for United`s trip to Hibs on Saturday, he said 'I would consider making changes to a winning team but that doesn't mean I will.'
Unfortunately for Levein, his defence had to do without David McCracken & Garry Kenneth at Easter Road at the weekend, after Kenneth failed to recover from an ankle knock picked up the previous week in the match against St Mirren and McCracken wasn`t fully fit either, after only just recovering from a hamstring injury which also kept him out of the Saints win.
United's makeshift central defence of Lee Mair & Alan Archibald played well, but were unable to keep the attack minded Hibernian at bay, with the final score of 2-1 in Hibs favour.
Craig Levein was impressed by the performance of both players at Easter Road, he said "Alan Archibald did well when he came in against St Mirren, and I thought he did well again on Saturday."
"To be fair, I don`t think our centre-backs were the problem."
Both McCracken & Kenneth are expected to be fully fit and rareing to go on Saturday, when Inverness Caley Thistle are the visitors at Tannadice.
'With Garry and David both back fit again I have quite a few options and that's a welcome problem to have,' said Levein.
Levein has made it clear that his long-term plan at Tannadice is to build from the back, but as expected, most of the players linked with United at the moment have been midfielders or attackers - though that doesn`t mean that Levein hasn`t identified a couple of potential signings targets who could improve United`s backline.
Date:Monday December 4 2006
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