ST JOHNSTONE will bid to extend their recent derby domination of Dundee United today – as they also attempt to break a 19-year-old club record by adding a sixth straight away win.

However, midfielder Murray Davidson says the focus in the McDiarmid Park camp is only on picking up another three points – something he insists can’t be taken for granted even though Mixu

Paatelainen’s side remain bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership.

United haven’t won in eight matches against the Perth side, who have won seven with the other ending in a draw. However, Davidson has still been surprised by their poor form this season.

He said: “In the last four or five years they have been one of the main teams in the top six. As with any team if you lose a lot of good players like United have then it can be very difficult to replace them. But they still have talent in their squad and we know they will come out fighting. They have brought in a new manager and I am sure United will be fine once he gets his ideas across to the players.”

St Johnstone will break an away win record set under Paul Sturrock in the old First Division if they succeed in picking up a victory. Davidson said: “We went into the international break on the back of a win against Kilmarnock and we have to keep the good form going.

“But it’s a difficult game for us, a derby. They haven’t had the start they would have wanted but we know we will have to play well to beat them. People have been saying we have a good record against them but I don’t read too much into that. In my book past results don’t matter. If we don’t play well this time round we won’t win the game.

“Of course it would be nice to get that record of away wins. But that isn’t the main priority. It is all about winning.”

Paatelainen hopes to have def-ender Gavin Gunning available for this afternoon’s encounter. The former Tannadice player has re-signed for the club until the end of the season after a successful trial and Paatelainen hopes international clearance can be rushed through.

Gunning made 99 appearances for United over three seasons after signing from Blackburn in 2011. Paatelainen said: “I’m looking forward to working with Gavin. I know he has had some big injury problems recently but he is fully fit now and he is really motivated to get back to the best level that he can.”

The manager said suggestions he is preparing to bring compatriot and former Kilmarnock playmaker Alexi Eremenko back to Scotland for a third spell were “not correct at all” and also declined to discuss former Liver-pool forward Florent Sinama Pongolle’s chances of clinching a move to Tannadice.

But Paatelainen did admit he was unhappy that United are no closer to confirming the signing of Japan’s World Cup goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima, despite agreeing terms three weeks ago. The club are still waiting for a work permit for the 32-year-old and Paatelainen said he could not put a time scale on the process.