Tony Andreu tipped to get the better of Norwich City team mate Remi Matthews ahead of play-off tilt

Tony Andreu is a key man for Dundee United's play-off tilt. Picture: Andy Kearns/Focus Images Ltd

Tony Andreu is a key man for Dundee United's play-off tilt. Picture: Andy Kearns/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Andy Kearns/Focus Images Limited

Norwich City’s on-loan midfielder Tony Andreu can be Dundee United’s talisman in Thursday’s opening leg of a Scottish Premiership duel against his old club Hamilton.

Andreu has been a revelation this season, scoring 19 goals in 40 appearances, and Tangerines’ chief Ray McKinnon is urging the 28-year-old to play a leading role at Tannadice.

Andreu must find a way past Norwich City team mate, Remi Matthews, who has returned to the Accies’ first team after an injury-hit loan stint, to compete for a place in next season’s Scottish top flight.

“For Tony Andreu, is it just written? I don’t know – up against his old club and he’s due a goal,” said McKinnon. “He is due a goal, seriously. So maybe he’s going to pop up in the next two games with a really important one. It’s more the boys who have been speaking about it with Tony. All these things add to it, don’t they?

“And he is a match winner. He has 20 or so goals this season and has helped us win a lot. Here’s hoping he’s got at least one more in him.”

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Andreu was on target in a Scottish League Challenge Cup success earlier this season but promotion is the ultimate prize and McKinnon knows the value of a first leg lead, ahead of Sunday’s return.

“It is great to have a strong home record. And if we can keep that intact we will give ourselves a chance,” he told the Daily Record. “If we’re still in the tie then all the pressure shifts to the home team in the second leg because there is an expectation that they will stay up.

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“So we have to make sure we’re still bang in this tie going into Sunday’s game. Hamilton are a good side and they showed on Saturday against Dundee that they can score goals. They are a Premiership team and we need to give them the respect they deserve. But it’s more about how we play and how we set up.”

Accies’ chief Martin Canning, who succeeded Alex Neil as Hamilton boss, is confident his squad can hold their nerve.

“Obviously the club wants to be in the Premiership every season if we can be,” he said. “We always know, at the start of the season, that it’s going to be a big ask, it’s going to be a long, hard season, and we have to get the points on the board to stay in the league.”

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