Dundee United have sent prodigious teenagers Ryan Gauld and John Souttar to Spain for a week to allow the pair a break from first-team action.

The two have become regulars under Jackie McNamara this season, but the United manager is conscious that they have looked increasingly jaded in training.

McNamara is also wary that transfer speculation linking both forward Gauld and defender Souttar with lucrative moves away from Tannadice might also have had an effect on their performance. Gauld was only an unused substitute on Saturday, while Souttar has conceded two penalties recently.

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"We have asked a lot of them," said McNamara. "In the summer both were away with Scotland and played right through. I see them in training and the spark has been missing a little. A few days away in the sun will help immensely."