Scottish Premier League

McNamara hopes to break Hearts

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Fri, 08 Feb 2013 19:05:00

Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba arrived in Istanbul to a hero's welcome from Galatasaray fans on Friday night.

The 34-year-old - looking to complete his disputed move from Shanghai Shenhua - flew in from the African Nations Cup, where he had been playing for the Ivory Coast until their defeat against Nigeria.

And he was greeted by hundreds of fans at the airport.

"I'm very happy to be here for me as it's a new adventure, a new part of my life," he told the club's website. "I will do my best to be successful for the club."

Drogba has agreed an 18-month deal with the big-spending Turkish club, who signed Wesley Sneijder from Inter Milan last month.

However, his former club Shenhua Shanghai have said they will challenge the deal, insisting Drogba remains under contract with them.

Drogba moved to Shanghai on a reported two-and-a-half-year deal last summer, but his camp claimed the deal had become invalid.

Last month Nicolas Anelka, who had also joined Shanghai from Chelsea, returned to Europe by joining Juventus.

The new Tangerines boss got off to a winning start as United swept past the Ibrox club 3-0 in his first game in the dugout since replacing departed manager Peter Houston.

It was a win which gave McNamara great satisfaction as they look ahead to a cup quarter-final tie with Dundee but for now he wants to see them follow that up with another positive result against the Jambos in the SPL.

McNamara said: "It's been a good start and it gives us something to build on going into this game with Hearts.

"The lads have all responded well since I came in last week and it's been good to have a full week working closer with them in training each day.

"This will be a very tough match against Hearts but it's one we should be approaching with confidence.

"There were a lot of positives things to come out of the Rangers game which we want to use to our advantage.

"We want to try and move up the table as well so it will be very important to start winning more games at Tannadice in front of our own supporters."

United face a Hearts side which has been buoyed by recently making it through to the final of the League Cup.

McNamara is under no illusions about how tough John McGlynn's side could make it for them this weekend so knows they must be fully prepared.

He said: "I've got a lot of respect for Hearts and what they're trying to do with the younger players at their club.

"They've proved they're a good team by going all the way to the final and you never get it easy against them.

"They have lots of talented young players who've been given a first-team opportunity this season and have taken it well.

"So we are facing a tough task but it's one which we are all looking forward to.

"We're in the middle of a spell where there are many big games coming up for the club.

"It's a challenge we're relishing so it it is our job to go out there and try to win as many games as possible and see where we end up."

United are hoping full-back Keith Watson shakes off some tightness in his knee to face the Edinburgh club.

Midfielder Stuart Armstrong is back from Scotland Under-21 international duty in Greece in midweek and appears to have suffered no ill-reaction.

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