GUTTED Dundee United manager Tam Courts said that his team deserved a point after going down to Liel Abada’s stoppage-time goal at Celtic Park.

United fought gamely to keep Celtic at bay, and thanks to some stout defending and a wonderful performance from goalkeeper Benjamin Siegrist, looked set to take something back to Tayside from Glasgow’s East End for the second time this season.

Abada’s late strike denied them that point, and Courts felt that was rough justice on his men.

“I think we were probably worthy of a point in terms of executing a game plan really well,” Courts said.

“Celtic had a lot of control, crosses and attempts at goal. But we were comfortable in our shape. So I’m bitterly disappointed that we’ve lost it so late.

“My frustration is that we didn’t sustain enough attacks and cause Celtic problems. We caused them more problems at Parkhead earlier in the season.

“But in terms of endeavour and what we put in, we merited a point.”

Despite the defeat, Courts took plenty of positives from his team’s performance ahead of the Dundee derby on Tuesday night.

“We’re in decent form and that was a strong enough performance today to make us feel optimistic going into the derby,” he said.

“We can take lots of positives today. In a week, we’ve played 120 minutes in the Scottish Cup and won, came from behind on Wednesday to win a big three points and performed admirably today.

“This has to be a catalyst for the derby. We’ve got seven games in 23 days so we’ll need everybody and I’m utilising the squad.

“The players are buying into it and barring a late goal here today we’d have got a credible draw.

“Form goes out the window for a derby. But we’ll focus on ourselves because we’re in a good place and excited about going to Dens.”