The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
A stroll in the rain as Raith are run ragged. Walker lets a Dave Narey 30-yarder through his hands and Graeme Payne blasts in a second from Sturrock's pass. Raith reply through Harris following a McAlpine slip, but Ian Britton hammers home from close range and Ralph Milne and Dave Narey take the tally to five.
Naturally I am extremely pleased at the good start to the season, nobody could complain with a goal tally of seven for and none against from our two outings. What does concern me, however, is the injury situation. As I write Paul Sturrock is again doubtful after picking up another knock at Brockville. The frequent injuries such as Paul has sustained are definitely hampering his sharpness, Paul's situation is not an isolated incident. No less than 12 of the first team squad have been affected in a similar way and no one will be more pleased than I when the queue outside Andy Dickson's treatment room has disappeared. One decision I have made is never again to attempt to ask the players to attain pre-season fitness by playing matches, as we did this year in Denmark. That exercise may have produced good harmany amongst the squad but only training on the track against the clock produces the necessary fitness to open an arduous season. In matches it is possible for players to cheat a wee bit and despite having played a total of 14 games at all levels as part of our preseason training programme, there is still room for improvement in that area in the staff as a whole. Mind you, the numerous injuries suffered by so many has not exactly helped, the situation. As you will have read in the press, our last ditch efforts to sign an additional striker before the UEFA Cup deadline were thwarted. I am still not totally satisfied that there is enough competition for places here at Tannadice. Last season I bemoaned this fact and was particularly disappointed about the lack of competition coming from the younger members of the staff. After viewing last Tuesday's Reserve League Cup tie with Dundee, I again feel bound to make the same criticism, though this time my comments are directed more at those who are considered potential first teamers. In an earlier programme I commented that only players can pressure other players and in the acquisition of lan Britton I feel that we have the perfect example. His whole attitude has been highly commendable and I would be more than happy to pick up another couple of players of his calibre, particularly a striker and a left winger, on a free transfer. In conclusion it is good to be able to welcome back Gordon Wallace, Allan Forsyth, lan Ballantyne, Bobby Robinson and lan Steen, all of whom are no strangers to these parts.