Mackay-Steven hails attacking philosophy

PA Sport
Gary Mackay-Steven, right, has attracted praise for his recent performances

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Gary Mackay-Steven, right, has attracted praise for his recent performances

Dundee United winger Gary Mackay-Steven has hailed the attacking mentality of Terrors boss Peter Houston as the 21-year-old continues to produce impressive performances.

After starring in the 2-2 Europa League qualifying round first leg against Dinamo Moscow on Thursday night, Mackay-Steven played in Dundee United's 3-0 victory over Hibernian on Sunday. The comprehensive win, courtesy of goals from Johnny Russell, Jon Daly and Michael Gardyne, sent Houston's side to the top of the Scottish Premier League table.

And former Liverpool trainee Mackay-Steven believes the manager's philosophy is allowing United's attacking players to shine. He said: "A lot of the players in the team like to go out and attack and I think it suits us down to the ground because we are at our best when we attack teams. We could have maybe scored more but the strikers all got a goal."

The ex-Airdrie man was arguably the key player in United's draw with Dinamo and his manager claimed afterwards he had more impact on the game than the Russian side's £19million winger Balazs Dzsudzsak.

But Mackay-Steven said he has to ignore praise like that and was humble when it was suggested he was responsible for the raucous support from the fans in the last two home games. He said: "Obviously it is pleasing to hear (the manager's comments) but I just take it with a pinch of salt and look to work hard and improve with every game I play.

"It is a great boost for all the players if the fans make a noise and they were very vocal again. It was a great team performance and we got off to a great start with Jonny's goal and just carried that on through the game."

Mackay-Stevens' form has not gone unnoticed by Scotland manager Craig Levein, who admitted he has been impressed with the winger and revealed he could soon be in line to make his full Scottish debut.

"He is pushing and knocking on the door - it has been quite a meteroic rise for his over the last season, coming from Airdrie to Dundee United, and as the season progressed he played a lot of football and he is improving.

"I'm looking forward to seeing how he does this season and he could be involved in the game in November over in Luxembourg, that is the game where I will look to bring in some fresh faces."

United travel to Moscow for the return leg against Dinamo on Thursday evening.

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