Jackie McNamara last night told how he's been forced to deliberately blank out Dundee United's raging civil war because he would barely get a wink of sleep otherwise.

The Tannadice boss has just endured the week from hell after admitting he earned a bonus from recent transfers involving Stuart Armstrong, Gary Mackay-Steven, Ryan Gauld, and Andy Robertson when fans' groups questioned where £500,000 had gone from the club's coffers.

To make matters worse, United suffered a 2-1 defeat to Ross County last weekend to leave them without a win in the league since January 24 when they defeated Motherwell, with angry supporters also rounding on Chairman Stephen Thompson for his overall running of the club.

It's been a trying past while for former Celtic and Scotland star McNamara whose side face a must-win derby clash with rivals Dundee at Dens Park tonight in their quest save their season and win a place in Europe.

And McNamara has revealed he's made a point of not becoming caught up in the on-going off-field storm surrounding the Tayside club's transfer saga for fear it would keep him lying awake all night.

"I try not to look at things because if I did I probably wouldn't get much sleep at night. If I looked at everything on social media and everything else what's out there..." said McNamara. "Instead I just focus on my job and preparing the team for matches. We're in a results business and that's what we're here to do. Nothing changes that despite what has been going on.

"I'm focused on what's happening on the park rather than what's being said off it. That's my job. I was brought here to try and progress the club so everything else that goes on takes care of itself.

"I'm here to prepare the players as best we can for games like the derby this week. I don't think it affects the players. They're focused on their jobs.

"All anyone here is thinking about is the Dundee game on Wednesday night and trying to get a result for the club. A win would get us back talking about what we should be talking about - and that's football. Because we haven't won for a few games everything else has jumped on top of it.

"There's an importance on this game because of the run we're on. We need to get a result to settle everything down again and kick on with the eight games to go. We want to get into Europe and to do that we need to start getting results."

McNamara has defended his own contract position which entitled him to a cut in profits from the sale of players to other clubs. And the United gaffer insists anything which has gone in the past week or so won't unsettle his players going into tonight's televised encounter.

"What's happened doesn't change anything for me or the players," he insisted. "It's personal from my side of things but it doesn't change the way we go about our business preparing for games. We're here to win football matches. That's our job.

"It's nothing to do with anyone else so it shouldn't affect it. We're professionals. I thought the fans were great on Saturday. There was a bit of frustration at the end but they got behind the players, especially in the first-half.

"We got a good response from the fans so it was disappointing we didn't get the result we wanted. There was some frustration at the end, but that's natural after you've lost a match at home."

United face a revived Dundee side who could be breathing down their necks with a win at Dens, but McNamara is confident his side can rise to the occasion.

"You want to be involved in big games like the one we've got at Dens," he said. Derbies are great games to be involved in. They're the games every player wants to be a part of. Matches like this comes down to who keeps the head and takes their chances."

Meanwhile, Dundee will give central defender James McPake until the last minute to prove his fitness after having a scan on his knee.

But Gary Harkins, Luka Tankulic and Gary Irvine are all still out.

Dens boss Paul Hartley said: "It's a big game but derbies always are.

"If you win it's a great feeling and that's what we're obviously aiming to do.

"United have still got some very good players irrespective of recent results and we must concentrate on ourselves and what we're good at."