Thomas Courts reckons Hearts will be facing a 'liberated' Dundee United on Sunday

Tam Courts says Hearts will be facing a “liberated” Dundee United after his side overcame the weekly pressures of the Scottish Premiership to finish in the top six.

By Craig Fowler
Thursday, 21st April 2022, 5:29 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st April 2022, 6:37 pm

The first match of post-split action for both sides will come at Tannadice on Sunday with the fixture pushed back 24 hours thanks to Dundee hosting St Johnstone in a crucial bottom-six encounter the day before.

Hearts defeated Courts’ men 2-0 back in August with Liam Boyce and the now-departed Armand Gnanduillet on the scoresheet amid a heroic performance from Craig Gordon. The teams then shared the spoils with a 2-2 draw when Robbie Neilson’s side visited at the beginning of March. Hearts won the only fixture 5-2 at Tynecastle.

United sit in fourth place and are targeting a European spot and their head coach hopes the shackles will be thrown off his side after receiving their initial goal this campaign of making it into the top half of the table.

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Dundee United boss Thomas Courts during the 5-2 defeat for his side against Hearts at Tynecastle earlier this season. Picture: SNS

He said: "It feels really good on the basis that we've had to almost endure this season. There has been so many twists and turns and numerous teams fighting for that top-six position.

"The win at St Mirren was significant because scoring that late goal gave us that bit of daylight and allows us to almost go into the final week knowing that barring a disaster we were in the top-six position.

"We have five huge games coming up, really exciting games and hopefully the team can maybe liberate itself a little bit because maybe indirectly you feel the pressure of such a tight league.

"Hopefully we can get back to some of the fast free-flowing football that we played at the start of the season and we can really enjoy the race for the top four position.

"It is a positive pressure now. We don't have to worry about finishing ninth, like we did last season.

"We can really look to maintain that fourth position, very respectful to the other teams who have achieved top-six on merit and it is a great incentive to the club to enjoy and almost liberate ourselves a little bit where the games bring a positive pressure, as opposed to the negative pressure sometimes when you are fighting for something everyone wants so badly."

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