McKinnon confident ahead of away trip

Dundee United manager Ray McKinnon believes playing away might suit his side in the second leg of their play-off against Falkirk.

The Bairns twice pegged United back at Tannadice on Tuesday to ensure the Ladbrokes Premiership play-off semi-final is evenly balanced ahead of Friday’s encounter at the Falkirk Stadium.

And McKinnon is feeling optimistic as his side bid to set up a final encounter against either Inverness or Hamilton.

“We are confident, we have played really well recently,” he said.

“Some of our key players are really stepping up to the mark: Simon Murray is in good form, Blair Spittal is on form, Tony Andreu and Thomas Mikkelsen are match-winners.

“We are in good form, undefeated in 10 games, so we are looking forward to it. The main thing is that we went down to Falkirk in a strong position and I feel we are in a strong position. The game is very, very even and anything can happen down there.

“We have lots of match-winners in our team. The other night we took the lead twice and it was our own downfall that we gifted them goals. So we take a lot of positives out of that game.

“Falkirk are at home so the onus might be on them to come out and come at us, and if that’s the case it should leave spaces for us to play.”

United have twice lost at Falkirk this season, conceding six goals in the process, but McKinnon feels they are now better equipped to face former United boss Peter Houston’s side.

“There were circumstances in both games but this is a different game altogether,” he said. “We don’t look at that at all.

“We have looked at the personnel and the personnel changes from all our games and we are a different team. Friday is a one-off and we approach it like that.

“We go down there and make sure we do our business properly, play the way we want to play, get it down and pass and get moving and get at their back four, like we did the other night, and did it well.”

McKinnon has had his players in the North Sea off St Andrews beach at the end of training each day in a bid to freshen them up during what he hopes will be a six-match process of restoring their top-flight status.

And Mikkelsen admits it is working, despite his initial reluctance to get in the water.

“The gaffer said we are going in the sea every day,” the on-loan Odense striker said. “It is good for recovery but it’s hard for the body.

“I’m not a sea guy, I’m a swimming pool guy, but the gaffer says it’s good for the body. It’s cold. You feel good after and the body is totally fresh after.”

The Dane has shelved decisions over his future, which could be at Tannadice, until after the play-offs.

“I am only thinking about the next game and we will see what is going on after the season,” the 27-year-old said.

“I still have a contract in Denmark but anything could happen.”

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