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Jim Goodwin took some encouragement from his debut defeat as the Dundee United boss but knows victories are now imperative.

The Irishman began his tenure at Tannadice with a 3-1 defeat at home on Saturday evening to Aberdeen, the club who had sacked him in January.

After seven straight defeats in all competitions, United remain bottom of the cinch Premiership, four points behind Kilmarnock and Ross County with 11 league games remaining – one more than the two clubs directly above.

Ahead of the trip to Livingston on Wednesday night, Goodwin said: “I have had a number of messages from people in football, supporters and even people who have been at Dundee United games throughout the course of the season and they all saw a reaction on Saturday, a far better team performance, some really good individual performances as well

“But it was about the team for me, the collective unit.

“I think if we can continue in that vein going forward consistently throughout the next 11 games, then I think we give ourselves a brilliant chance of survival.

“We are at the stage of the season now where results are probably more important than the performance. We are not going to get too many pats on the back for playing well and losing games.

“I spoke on Thursday to the players. If we have to grind out results and win ugly then that’s what we have to do. It is about getting the results.

“The big thing for me is we are not massively adrift at the bottom. We have a run of games coming up now where we believe we are capable of picking up some serious points in.

“Once we get to the split, we need to make sure that we are right there or thereabouts and then you have five massive games against teams that will be in and around you.

“There was no moping around this morning. No one was feeling too down albeit extremely disappointed by the result but it would have been far worse had I been coming in after seeing a weak tepid performance.

“I saw really good characters, individuals who care about the club.”