Dundee United: Robbie Neilson banks on 'big game' players in play-off

Robbie Neilson and Peter Pawlett
Robbie Neilson says his side have players who have proven they can handle the pressures of big games
Scottish Premiership play-off final first leg: Dundee United v St Mirren
Venue: Tannadice Date: Thursday, 23 May Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio Scotland 810MW/DAB/online; text commentary on the BBC Sport website

Dundee United have the "big game" players to take the team back to the Scottish Premiership, says manager Robbie Neilson.

United face top-flight St Mirren on Thursday in the first leg of the play-off final at Tannadice.

Neilson says the 4-0 aggregate semi-final win over Inverness Caledonian Thistle showed his side has the experience to take them over the line.

"They've brought that steel and character," the United manager said.

"It was one of the things we looked at when we recruited in January - getting guys who could handle big games, had played in them, and been successful in big games.

"We saw that against Inverness. It was a huge game for us, coming back to Tannadice 1-0 up, but the likes of Peter Pawlett, Mark Connolly, Mark Reynolds and Osman Sow have all played in cup finals, European games, play-off games and it doesn't faze them at all."

United are aiming for a return to the top flight for the first times since being relegated in 2016.

Having lost to Hamilton Academical and Livingston in the play-offs in the past two seasons, Neilson stressed the importance of his side returning to "where they belong".

"It's important the club gets back into the top-flight - a lot of teams are in a similar situation to us and believe they should be there," he said.

"We have to prove where we should be and we've got an opportunity to do that over the course of these two games."

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