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Micky Mellon not worried by scouts packing Tannadice stands

Several clubs have sent scouts to look at 17-year-old defender Lewis Neilson and Scotland striker Lawrence Shankland.

Dundee United boss Micky Mellon insists is not worried by the sight of scouts packing the Tannadice stands.

Everton, Leicester, Southampton and Leeds were the latest clubs to take the chance to assess 17-year-old defender Lewis Neilson in action against Celtic.

Lawrence Shankland continues to draw attention too but Mellon reckons he would be more worried if the Terrors were not attracting interest.

Mellon said: "Lewis is our player who we're trying to develop.

"I felt he was at a stage in his career that he could come in and help the team move forward. But he has to find that consistency to stay in the team.

"As far as interest in him, then I'm delighted for him. I hope there is because that means I've got good players here.

"I wouldn't want an empty scouting bay as that would mean people had made their mind up about my team.

"I have no problem in teams taking an interest but it honestly won't deflect away from every day improvement and trying to win games of football."

Mellon will come up against a familiar face in the opposition dug-out on Saturday when he takes United to Rugby Park to take on Alex Dyer's Kilmarnock.

Mellon knows the Englishman well from his time south of the border and while he insists there will be no old pal's act this weekend, he is confident his friend can turn Killie's campaign around after seeing them open up the season with just two points from the opening five games.

The former Shrewsbury and Tranmere boss said: "I've known Alex for a long, long time. He's a real good football man. I've competed against him numerous times.

"I remember him and Chris Powell at Charlton and again at Huddersfield, so I know him really well.

"I know that he will make sure his team are ready and we'll have to overcome that challenge.

"I've no doubt he can get Kilmarnock out of the situation they're in. It doesn't even need me to justify that.

"Given his experience in football and the type of guy he is, you can't look at him and think he doesn't have the know-how to win games at any time.

"It's always difficult when you get both Rangers and Celtic in your first five fixtures.

"But we know we'll have to go down to Rugby Park and get an awful lot right.

"We've shown in the first five games that we're a match for anyone.

"What we need to find is the consistency of that performance over a league season."

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General view of Rugby Park, home to Kilmarnock, from 2011
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