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Expectations high for Scottish Cup final

Dundee United boss Peter Houston believes the massive interest in the Scottish Cup final among the club's fans has been boosted by the absence of the Old Firm.

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Dundee United take on First Division side Ross County in the final at Hampden on Saturday, and fans have snapped up 27,000 tickets in what is set to be a sell-out crowd.

And Houston, who took charge of the side following the departure of Craig Levein in December, feels the supporters will fully expect a victory in the absence of Rangers and Celtic.

"You have no idea what it means to our fans," he told the Daily Record. "The ticket sales have shocked me but it reiterates how much it means to Dundee United.

"There are people coming from foreign lands, from Canada and all sorts. I want to make sure we don't let them down.

"Possibly, part of the turnout is the expectation of winning and also the fact the Old Firm are not there. People are fed up with the Old Firm in finals and our fans will see it as a chance to win. There will be stick flying if we don't."

He added: "We've got an honest, hard-working bunch and some of them are fantastic players as well. This is the be-all and end-all for them."

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