Dundee United boss Tam Courts has revealed how Mark Reynolds has backed his decision to pass the captain’s armband to Ryan Edwards.

Courts has picked Edwards as his new skipper, with Reynolds having lost his place in the starting XI.

Edwards, who will lead the team out at Motherwell on Tuesday, has recently signed a new deal and his manager views him as the long-term leader of his United team.

Courts stated: “First and foremost, I’ve spoken about my positive relationship with Mark Reynolds.

“He’s been a real source of support to me and continues to be so.

“He hasn’t been playing regularly in the team so the captaincy for a few different reasons has been passed around different people.

“I just thought it was a good opportunity to make a statement in terms of who I wanted to lead the team moving forward. I think Ryan embodies what we stand for as a staff in terms of his principles and values.

“I think he’s a guy who has got respect from the senior players but also the way he conducts himself around young players and visitors to the club, he is a real ambassador and role model to everyone at the club, including myself.

“It was quite an easy decision in the end.”

Courts knows a win at Fir Park would give United the chance to put some genuine daylight between themselves and their nearest rivals, although Hibs have a couple of games in hand. He also knows ‘Well will be hurting after they were dumped by Dundee on Saturday.

The United head coach warned: “If you look at their league position, they’re just behind us. It’s a chance for, if we win, to put some daylight between us and them and if they win then they get a chance to close the gap. There’s quite a bit at stake.

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“Naturally they’ll be disappointed with the scoreline and performance at the weekend, I think their manager has said that, so they’ll be looking at home advantage, a team just above them, so they’ll need no motivation and neither do we.”

Charlie Mulgrew knows all about the threat of Motherwell star Tony Watt.

The pair were at Celtic together. Mulgrew watched Watt bring down Barcelona but thinks he is now playing the football of his career at Fir Park.

The defender, who will be trying to keep him at bay, admitted: “He is flying. “He has got himself in the best shape of his career and he is a real top player and finisher. “Motherwell will be glad to have him.

“I think he has benefited from being there for a while. He has settled down and he is playing his best football at the minute.

“He is a good lad and it is good to see him doing well. At Celtic, you knew he had that power, pace and finishing ability.

“He scored some early goals for Motherwell and has continued. It is good to see him doing well.”

United were stung with Ross County’s last-minute leveller. Mulgrew admitted it was a bitter blow and they have to learn a lesson if they want to fulfil their ambitions. They will head to Lanarkshire full of confidence having beaten the Steelmen at Tannadice earlier in the season.

“It was a sore one because it was such a long journey and all we could think about was not getting the win,” the experienced defender confirmed. “We just need to move on and look forward to Motherwell.

“It is a good thing in a way that we are up at that end of the table fighting but we want to get these wee points because they could be the difference come the end of the season.

“We want to keep improving and to be picking up as many points as we can.”

United are hopeful Jeando Fuchs and Dylan Levitt will both be fit.