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Dundee United left-back Aziz Behich will use his positive experience of fighting relegation to try to seize the initiative against Livingston in a game he is treating like a cup final.

United sit bottom of the cinch Premiership with three games left and defeat in West Lothian could see them staring into the abyss depending on results elsewhere.

“We all know what’s at stake here,” the former Bursaspor and Istanbul Basaksehir player said. “We are bottom of the table. We can’t look ahead of this week and we are treating this game as a final. That’s the mentality we need to go in with.

“A lot of players maybe haven’t been in this situation before. Personally I have, two or three times over in Turkey, and come out on top of it.

“This is a new situation for a lot and it’s just how you deal with it. You either take it by the scruff of the neck or you roll over. I don’t think we have got players here that want to roll over.

“We have got good characters in the changing room and us older guys have to push that leading into Saturday.”

Behich’s season has veered between huge highs and massive lows, from conceding seven goals on his United debut against AZ Alkmaar to playing for Australia against Argentina in the last 16 of the World Cup and nearly scoring a sensational late equaliser.

The ups and downs continued. After a strong return from the World Cup, United went 11 league games without a win before claiming three consecutive victories going into the split.

But they have still not been able to kick on and successive defeats against St Johnstone and Ross County have left them in the mire.

“It has been a bit of a roller coaster but that’s part of football, part of the journey,” the 32-year-old defender said.

“But I’m happy to be at this club. It’s a great football club, a great fanbase.

“Obviously we have to look at ourselves, why we are in this situation, as individuals.

“But it’s not the time for that now because we still have three final games to play and we still have to have that belief within the four walls, in that changing room, that we are going to get out of this.

“We are the only ones that can do that. Not the coaching staff, not the people on the outside – it’s us players on the pitch that, at the end of the day, define the outcome really.”