JIM Duffy has played down the added incentive of potentially catching second-placed Dundee United in the league this weekend — and insists Ton will have to be at their best to stand a chance against the Terrors tomorrow.
Duffy watched his side compete in an enthralling clash with Falkirk at Cappielow last weekend, whilst United progressed to the Irn Bru Cup final with a 3-2 victory over Queen of the South.
And while the Ton boss was pleased with his side’s performance last weekend, he was quick to explain that nothing is handed to teams at Tannadice and said his troops will have to perform to the top of their capabilities to come away with anything from this weekend’s fixture.
He told the Tele: “I thought last week was a terrific game, it could’ve went either way.
“We could’ve gone 2-0 up and then they could’ve gone 3-1 up, so both of us could have had a cushion. Ultimately it was two evenly matched teams.
“It was a good performance for most of the game against a very good side, but this weekend we’re going to Tannadice and they had a great result last week against Queen of the South, and they’ll be buoyed by that.
“They’re also chasing down Hibs, but for us to be as close as we are at this moment in time to United I think is terrific for the players. You want to stay there right until the end of the season, which has a third still to go.
“For us to compete with a club like United has been impressive.
“Coming down from the Premiership they’re a big, club in Scottish football. Them and Hibs people thought would run away with it.
“But we’re hanging on in there and we know how difficult it is.
“They have a fantastic home record, similar to our own, so they’re certainly a formidable side at Tannadice.
“It’s going to be another test for our players, but we’re looking forward to it.”
Asked if catching United is an extra incentive for his players, Duffy replied: “The term incentive is quite a difficult term.
“People might think you’d try more when there’s a reason, but I think you should be giving 100 per cent in every game.
“Obviously sometimes things can add a wee bit of an edge to the match, and of course the pace of the game can be a bit quicker, so it seems like players have a little bit of extra motivation.
“It’s something that happens over the course of the season and not only just one game, but I suppose it can give you confidence, there’s no doubting that.
“For me I think the motivation is to keep doing well and trying to improve.
“That’s what you want to do and come back with something from the game because you put a lot into it.
“You have to earn points, nothing is given to you at Tannadice.
“We have to go there and give our absolute maximum and if we do that, as a manager that’s all you can ask for — then see if it’s good enough to come back with something.”