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Chairman wants Dundee Utd to have top ambitions

Dundee United chairman Stephen Thompson has told new boss Peter Houston to challenge the Old Firm for the number one spot in the SPL next season. Thompson said: "I always believe if you aim to be number one and you don't achieve that, then you might still get close to it.

"If you aim for the middle of the road then you could end up fighting relegation.

"We'll aim to be as high up the league as we can. So we will be aiming for first.

"Okay, it will be hard against the Old Firm but we also have the added bonus of playing in Europe next season.

"It means a lot to the fans at the club. We've been in European finals and the semi-finals of the European Cup and it gives us another campaign to look forward to."

With the Old Firm - and Rangers in particular - struggling financially it is possible that a club may emerge from the pack to become genuine challengers.

Thompson said: "I don't want to be too critical of the Old Firm.

"I will end up getting even more hate mail from them. I don't think I am particularly loved by either side.

"We want to be as strong as we can as a team and a club.

"If other teams aren't maybe as good as they have been in the past then there will be an opportunity there.

"That is football and the way it is just now. It is hard for us as well just now. It is hard for everybody in Scotland financially.

"But I think we have a young, hungry and ambitious squad and they want more success after last season."

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