Butcher driven by pain of play-offs
CALUM BUTCHER has revealed how the memory of suffering Premiership play-off final heartache against St Mirren is actively spurring Dundee United on to seal a coveted top-flight return this season.
Butcher has been a major driving force for Robbie Neilson’s relentless Championship pacesetters who lead nearest challengers Inverness by 13 points going into tonight’s televised Tannadice derby with city rivals Dundee.
Back in May, though, the tearful Tangerines were left heartbroken when they squandered a golden opportunity to clinch their place back in the top tier of Scottish football by missing all four penalties in an agonising shoot-out which consigned them to a fourth consecutive season in the Championship.
“I think the play-off defeat hurt a lot of boys,” said Butcher. “When most of the boys like myself came in during January, we wanted to go up that season.
“We obviously knew it was going to be tough to catch Ross County but we were still very confident going into the play-offs.
“So to lose the way we did on penalties against St Mirren kept a bit of hunger in our stomachs for this season.
“A lot of boys are still carrying that. We want to play in the Premiership next season so know we have to get out of this league as quickly as possible.
“It did hurt, to be honest, and we sat there in the dressing-room and agreed that we couldn’t be doing the same thing.”
United defender Butcher