Writer: Arab Jacques
Date:Thursday January 4 2007
Craig Levein has admitted the reason why he hasn't been getting carried away with Dundee United's recent form.
Until Monday's 5-1 defeat by Falkirk, Dundee United had been playing well and had taken 19 points out of 10 previous SPL matches.
However, Levein has confessed that he was worried that talking up his players could put more pressure on them and that then a bad defeat, like the one against Falkirk, could upset squad morale.
In recent seasons Dundee United have been a side low in confidence, after losing a goal the heads would drop and they would give up on any chance of a comeback.
Things have changed significantly under Levein, with United coming back from losing a goal on several occasions since his arrival.
Most notably the recent 3-1 win over Aberdeen and the 2-1 victory over Rangers during Levein's first match incharge.
"I have been quite happy with the performances from the team in the 10 games we've played before Monday," Levein told the Courier.
"I tried to play down the earlier good results, because there is always a chance that they will come to an end. I'm really just trying to keep everybody's feet on the ground."
"From my point of view the loss against Falkirk is not a major problem. I haven't really had a chance to rest the team and if I had I am sure it would have been different."
Confidence can be a major contributing factor in this SPL - a couple of lucky wins can give a team the confidence to push forward and go on a run.
Bottom of the table side Dunfermline might be 9 points adrift of 2nd bottom Saints, but a lucky win (like the 2-1 victory over United at East End Park) could help propel them on a run and take them up the league table.
Even with a 13 points advantage over the Pars and 45 points still up for grabs, Dundee United still aren't mathematically safe and Craig Levein will intend to make sure that the heads don't start dropping again, or so might United - down the league table.
When Dundee were relegated 2 seasons ago, they looked to be clear of the relegation zone with 10 games remaining, but just 7 points out of a possible 30, plunged them from 8th to 12th and into the 1st division.
The season Dundee United were relegated, Aberdeen looked to be doomed, but then went on a surprise run.....*sigh*.....so, Levein is quite right to be keeping an eye on team morale, because we dont want a repeat of 'that' season.
Date:Thursday January 4 2007
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