The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
Dons exit from this competition at the hands of a Dundee team for the fourth year in a row. Strachan smashes a header off the post before the tie is sealed by a Paul Sturrock penalty after Rougvie handled a Hegarty header.
I am sure that last Saturday's thrilling contest with Celtic provided everyone Present with value for money. It proved the value a full house has on the players. For make no mistake, there is nothing better than the highly charged atmosphere generated by a large crowd to lift players and bring out the best in them as it did last weekend. Given circumstances like that every week, a lot of football's ills would disappear overnight. However, delighted as I was with Saturday's attendance and the game with Celtic as a spectacle, I must confess disappointment at some aspects of our display. Celtic put in a fine performance but I felt we were ragged in defence and up front. Whilst our equalising goal was a great advert for football, the one touch play indulged by our front men is not the recipe for consistency that brings success. Players have, in my opinion, grown up over the last year or so, having earned good results even after losing the opening goal. I have noticed on such occasions however, the players appealing to the referee when things have started to go against them rather than fighting back in the way they did against Celtic in the last 30 minutes. I have been greatly pleased by the players on several occasions over recent years but I have never been prouder than after their display in Holland last week. That does not mean I will not be looking for better from them in the future. I am constantly seeking to improve the club, myself and the players. Tonight we face a tricky situation in opposing an Aberdeen side whose approach will be clear-cut—to attack. There can be no sterner warning to our players than last year's semi-final against the Dons when the positions were almost reversed and Alex Ferguson won't need me to remind him who qualified! We must therefore look for goals to decide the tie rather than rely on the two-goal lead we hold. I need only remind the players of what happened against Radnicki Nis with the display we turned in over there in similar circumstances.