Hibernian can be caught in Championship - Cammy Bell & Jim Duffy

Dundee United came from 3-1 down to draw with Queen of the South at Tanandice
Dundee United came from 3-1 down to draw with Queen of the South at Tanandice

Dundee United will "be fighting right until the end" in the Championship race, insists goalkeeper Cammy Bell.

Having briefly taken over top spot, a run of three games without a win has seen United drop six points behind leaders Hibernian.

"There is still a long way to go," Bell told BBC Scotland. "We need to dust ourselves down and get back to winning ways.

"There are no easy games in this league and still a few twists to come."

A 14-match sequence without a loss came to an end at Dumbarton on Hogmanay and was followed by a crushing 3-0 defeat to Hibs at Easter Road.

On Saturday, Ray McKinnon's side needed two goals in the last 15 minutes to hold Queen of the South to a 3-3 draw and preserve this season's unbeaten home record.

"We've let ourselves down but all we can do is look forward to the next game," added Bell, who moved to Tannadice from Rangers in the summer.

"We need to start keeping clean sheets again.

"We've lost poor goals in these last two games and that's down to lapses in concentration. There are a lot of good players who will take advantage and that's why I think the top teams will drop points because there is such strength in this league.

"Against Hibs, we didn't turn up and that was disappointing. We made it easy for them.

"On Saturday, we started really strongly and I felt we were going to go on and win the game but when we were 3-1 down there was a 10 minute spell when I thought there was no way we'd get anything.

"Then Scott Fraser scores and completely changes the complexion of the game.

"It might be a valuable point at the end of the season.

"We're hurting at the moment but you can't dwell on these things. We've still to play Hibs at home and we beat them at Tannadice previously."

Morton and Dundee United are both unbeaten at home this season
Morton and Dundee United are both unbeaten at home this season

Morton are five points behind United with a game in hand, with Bell admitting the Greenock side are "right on our case".

Cappielow manager Jim Duffy had an unsuccessful spell in charge at Easter Road in the 1990s and is envious of the players Hibs counterpart Neil Lennon has at his disposal.

"Hibs shouldn't be in this division but they are," he said.

"You can only attract Kris Commons, Chris Humphrey, Andrew Shinnie and Grant Holt if you are a big club and you can afford it. But that doesn't guarantee anything.

"There are a lot of good teams in this division and everyone has a target, fighting for the play-offs or trying to stay away from the bottom.

"Every game is competitive and Hibs will definitely drop points, so it's up to others to challenge them.

"If we're playing Hibs, they have better players who have played at a higher level, so technically they should move the ball a fraction better and maybe be more creative than us.

"But what they shouldn't be able to do is work any harder or give any more.

"I think Hibs are the best side in the division but they are not miles better than anyone else. On their day, if they drop a fraction, then we can give them a game.

"From Hibs' point of view, they will want to put their foot down on the gas and if they can do that it's going to be very difficult, even for Dundee United."