Dundee United: Club have 'awoken again' says Robbie Neilson

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'Dundee United will be back'

Manager Robbie Neilson says Dundee United have "awoken again" despite failing to win promotion back to the top flight.

The Tannadice club will spend a fourth straight season in the Scottish Championship after losing the play-off final to St Mirren on penalties.

But Neilson, who took in charge in October, predicts a bright future.

"We're moving in the right direction and Dundee United will be back, it just won't be this year," he said.

After a goalless first leg, Nicky Clark's penalty gave United the first-half advantage in Paisley. But Danny Mullen equalised three minutes later and the hosts held out despite having Duckens Nazon sent off near the end of extra time.

The United players had practised penalties in training but it did them little good as they missed all four attempts to lose the shootout 2-0.

"It's the cruellest of ways to lose," Neilson added. "Over the course, the two teams couldn't be separated. We're just disappointed fortune didn't favour us in the penalty shootout.

"At least the boys went up and took them as it can be a very difficult thing to do. We practised a number of times for the final, the semi-final, but there is different pressure."