Dundee United: Jackie McNamara hails 'special' Mario Bilate late goal

Jackie McNamara hailed Mario Bilate's "special" winner as Dundee United remained at the top of the table with a 1-0 win over Motherwell .

The summer signing came off the bench to fire a stinging shot from 25 yards past Dan Twardzik to move United two points clear at the summit.

"It's a fantastic strike from Mario, I don't think any keeper would have saved that and to be honest I thought we deserved it," he told BBC Scotland.

"We took the game to Motherwell."

Motherwell looked certain to take home a point but the home side kept pressing for a winner, and McNamara was adamant his side got what they deserved.

"They [Motherwell] showed a bit more urgency to get the ball back in play after we scored, but they were obviously trying to take the sting out of the game a lot of the time, especially the first half," he said.

"But, we kept going, we kept chipping away at them and the pleasing thing is we managed to overcome it.

Highlights - Dundee Utd 1-0 Motherwell

"They got back in numbers, Stuart [McCall] had them well organised, he changed his shape a bit. They worked very hard and his game plan was going well for him.

"It was important we kept going away, we put Mario on them and Nadir [Ciftci] up front, two wider men and pushed Paul Paton back to right-back and it paid off."

Dundee United now travel to Celtic Park on Saturday full of hope that they can record their first victory in Glasgow's east end since Duncan Ferguson's goal earned them the three points in 1992.

He said: "I said to the players at half-time not to get frustrated. It was very stop-start, slow. I thought the pitch was very sticky tonight, you could see that at certain times running with the ball.

"It'll help Mario with the goal. I think you can see what he brings, his attributes there with his hold up play, the way he links up with people. He's a big player for us as well.

"I'll not bother with his first touch but his second touch was special."