Date: 21st February 2007 at 1:58pm
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Craig Levein is starting to sound like a broken record, because almost every week the Dundee United manager is heeping praise on club captain Barry Robson.

The 28-year-old midfielder returned from a 3-match SPL suspension at Love Street and lead the team to a crucial 1-0 away win, scoring a long range wonder strike himself to take all 3 points back up the road to Dundee.

Then, again at the weekend, he was the stand out player in the Dundee United side and could have been the saviour again, if it wasn’t for a great save from Hibs goalkeeper Scott Brown.

Robson is fastly becoming known as one of the SPL’s freekick specialists, after scoring a few 25-yard direct freekicks or at least forcing opposition goalie’s to make vitally important saved to prevent him finding the back of the net.

He might not have the flamboyance of Celtic’s Japanese midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura, but at times he has been just as effective for Dundee United at freekicks.

Nakamura scored Celtic’s winning goal against Aberdeen at the weekend, with a “trademark” freekick from 20-yards which he curled up-and-around a 5 man wall into the top left-hand corner of Jamie Langfield’s net.

Barry Robson’s effort against Hibernian at Tannadice was a bit further out, a more central to Scott Brown’s goal, but the Hibs keeper had to scramble to palm it over the ball – after Robson managed to get the ball to swerve and dip towards the top left-hand corner of the net.

“Barry was excellent today, but if you want to go back and check the recordings of all the other interviews since I’ve been here, at some point I will say that Barry was excellent,” admitted Levein after the 0-0 draw with Hibs at Tannadice.

Dundee United have just re-signed Robson on a new deal which keeps him at the club until May 2011.

It’s a big financial risk for a club on a limited budget, but on the form of late it is a risk that needed to be taken, otherwise Robson could have been poached by another club in the summer with United getting very little return on their influential midfielder.

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