Ac­cies man­ager hopes to see an­gry side of ‘good guy’ Paate­lainen

The Herald - Sport - - FOOTBALL - GRAEME MCGARRY

ASK al­most any­one in Scot­tish foot­ball who knows what Mixu Paate­lainen is like as a per­son, and in­vari­ably they will smile, com­pli­ment his af­fa­ble na­ture and ex­press warm sen­ti­ments.

If you asked the Dundee United play­ers about his na­ture as he branded them “Rub­bish with a cap­i­tal R” and asked them “What’s the f*****g point in train­ing?” shortly af­ter be­ing roundly thumped at Celtic Park, and they may have dis­agreed.

Martin Can­ning, who once played un­der Paate­lainen and will travel with his Hamil­ton side to Tan­nadice this week­end to take on Dundee United, says that he is hop­ing to see the an­gry side of the hulk­ing Finn when the ref­eree blows for time on Satur­day.

“I worked with Mixu at Hibs and he’s a lovely guy,” he said. “I really liked him, I thought his meth­ods were good and I liked what he was do­ing there. At the time for me I’d been out for a year with an in­jury and I wanted to play ev­ery week, so I had a couple of frank meet­ings with him, let’s say, to try to per­suade him I should be play­ing!

“From there I came here, but I really got on with Mixu at Hibs and he’s a good guy. To be fair, he can lose his tem­per but so can ev­ery­body, that’s part of foot­ball. He’s pretty con­trolled about it.

“Whether you’re a player or a man­ager you can lose the plot some­times, and I’m sure when he does, he uses it in the right way. He’s definitely got that pres­ence though and he definitely has that in him. We saw that once or twice at Hibs so I know he’s got that side to him, but he knows his stuff and he’s a real foot­ball guy.

“I think he’ll bring de­ter­mi­na­tion and grit to United, you could see his pas­sion on Satur­day, so for us it will be a dif­fi­cult game.”

Can­ning knows that if Ac­cies can strike early at Tan­nadice it could have a mas­sive bear­ing on the out­come of the match given United’s low con­fi­dence lev­els, but he says that they try to im­pose them­selves on their op­po­nents from the first whis­tle no mat­ter the op­po­si­tion.

He said: “We al­ways try to start games on the front-foot and of course this will be no dif­fer­ent.

“You know what it’s like when you’re on a dif­fi­cult run, if a team gets on top of you straight away then it can be hard.

“We’ll ap­proach it the same way as we al­ways do and go up there to win the game.

“I went to watch United on Satur­day and I thought they were prob­a­bly the bet­ter team in the first-half, but then St John­stone got two quick goals right be­fore half-time which kind of killed it.

“There wasn’t much in it in the sec­ond-half, al­though St John­stone missed the penalty as well.

“But they looked de­cent and we’ll have to be at our best on Satur­day to win the game.”

CAN­NING: ‘Mixu can lose his tem­per, but so can ev­ery­body’

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