Manager Jim Duffy views Tannadice as one the most difficult away venues in Scottish football – but insists his Morton team travel up the east coast to face Dundee United brimming with belief due to back-to-back victories.
When asked for his thoughts on this weekend’s away fixture in the City of Discovery, Duffy said:
“We have back to back wins and to get those two wins against Dunfermline and Queen of the South was great for us and the boys should be confident.
“We got to Tannadice knowing it’s one of the toughest places in domestic football, not just the Championship – at any level.
“If somebody draws Dundee United in a cup tie at Tannadice, you know you’re in for a very difficult match, and we fully expect that.
“But we’ll go up there in good form, with belief. We know we’ll have to be at our very best, but if we go about our business well, there’s every chance we can come back with some points.”
As well as four league meetings last season, the Greenock men faced Dundee United in a two-legged promotion play-off and the quarter-finals of the Betfred Cup.
Although there will be a certain level of familiarity due to those seven encounters, Duffy expects a slightly different Tangerines side this season. He added:
“They have changed it round a little bit. They lost [Simon] Murray and Tony Andreu – and that’s a lot of goals.
“And Ray [McKinnon] has been saying it’s going to take a little bit of time for these new guys to gel.
“When you’ve got players of the quality of Scott McDonald, James Keatings, and Paul McMullan, you’ve got that bit of quality at the top end of the pitch.
“They’ve still got guys like [William] Edjenguele, [Mark] Durnan, [Lewis] Toshney at the back, so they’re still a very experienced side and a very strong side.
“When they click, I think they’ll be a forced to be reckoned with. But they’re still a little bit inconsistent at the moment, and obviously we’re hoping it stays that way on Saturday.”
Duffy was present at Tuesday’s 6-4 loss to Queen of the South in Development League West, and he believes it will prove a valuable experience for the Ton youngsters, particularly facing the likes of James McFadden:
“There was a lot of naive defending from both teams really. They had a young defence and we had a young team, other than Darren [Barr] playing.
“It’s all about learning. We played some terrific football at times, and it was a very end-to-end game with a bit of a contentious decision that turned the game in favour of Queens.
“And they had someone like James McFadden scoring four goals. To play against a player who has played at the very top level is a fantastic experience for the young boys.
“You don’t come up against players like that very often in your career. And he showed he’s still got that bit extra quality at times.”
Image: David Bell