The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
Sensational starts are becoming rather regular occurences here this season, but the way in which this match got underway will be hard to match. Within a couple of minutes of the referee's first whistle Saints were reduced to ten men and we had been awarded a penalty. McWhirter handled a netbound Michael O'Neill shot on the line and under new FIFA regulations had to be redcarded. Michael O'Neill's first attempt from the spot was blocked by Money, but Michael followed up to net the rebound. The United fans were still cheering when Billy McKinlay rammed a second into the far corner from just inside the box. The drama continued in the 12th minute when Duncan Ferguson was tripped in the box and Darren Jackson took over the role of penalty taker from Michael O'Neill to sink the spot kick at the first time of asking. Ten man Saints produced the odd anxious moment, most notably when Allan Preston cleared a header off the line. Meanwhile Saints survived another couple of narrow shaves and most have been happy to hear the half-time whistle. There was more than a degree of good fortune about Saints goal eight minutes after the interval when Charnley hammered in a free-kick which was deflected past Guide Van De Kamp by Paul Lambert. Five minutes later Darren Jackson restored our three goal advantage, heading high into the net after Allan Preston's first shot had crashed against the bar. Despite our numerical advantage there was no further scoring as we completed our biggest home Premier win since December, 1988.
There is no doubt that Saturday's result against Celtic was extremely disappointing. The effort put in by the players couldn't be faulted as demonstrated by their ability to twice recover from a two goal deficit before losing to that late John Collins winner. Recently, however, we have had more than our fair share of indiscipline both on and off the park. The Cup Final incidents and antics in Holland left us ridiculously short of personnel for such an important game. Through one reason or another we were lacking the availability of no less than ten players for Celtic's visit. With the number of matches ahead this season, we simply cannot afford players to be out through their own stupidity in addition to any injuries or staleness. Some playerslearn from their mistakes, but unfortunately others just keep making the same one,time and again. Frankly, the indiscipline in the modern game is going to crucify clubs, particularly with the heavy burden of games nowadays. Losing to Celtic is hard to take, but it was even more disappointing that we should go down to them at home. The defeat puts extra pressure on us for the visit of St. Mirren this evening and it is vitally important that we record a victory against them, but they are always awkward customers. No matter whether we win or lose it is still a matter of urgency that we add to the playing staff. On the eve of the Celtic game we did sign Jochem Muller from the German club, Mannheim. I was pleased with his display in difficult circumstances. As with KRivokapic, language is a barrier to getting him quickly integrated in to our defensive organisation and for him to play the way in which we want, although Freddy Van Der Hoorns ability to speak German will be of great benefit when he returns to the side.