The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
Part two of United's late winners came in the first derby match. Davie Dodds was the 85th minute hero. So United ended the first quarter of the League programme in prime position.
On Wednesday evening you, the fans, put me under more pressure than the Directors here have ever done in any of my 11 years at Tannadice! Your magnificent vocal encouragement in midweek made me even more determined to improve everything connected with the club even further. I doubt if I can ever recall any away support out shouting a Parkhead crowd as you achieved on Wednesday. Everyone at Tannadice is bitterly disappointed that we carry a two goal deficit into the second leg in 10 days time, particularly as Celtic, by their high standards, were not at their best. There is, however, no way that anyone at Tannadice is prepared to concede that our chances of reaching a fourth successive League Cup final are dead. It has, of course, been very disappointing to lose the services of Paul Sturrock and Eamonn Bannon. Both are positive players and their injuries came at a time when the pair were approaching something like their best after patchy form earlier in the season. No club in Scotland could fail to feel the effect of their loss. The onus is, therefore, very much on the fringe players, whom I have often criticised in the past, to show their true worth — we have never needed them more than now. Unfortunately, though we have tried hard to increase our strike force with the acquisitions of Charlie George and Ally McLeod, both of whom have yet to see action, my fears that we are not adequately covered in that department have been confirmed. After scrutinising last Saturday's results, it was interesting to note that none of Scotland's European contingent won without a struggle aaginst opponents that all four should normally be capable of beating more easily. All of the sides looked below par and that included our performance at Fir Park. The problems associated with playing twice a week against sides who are in action only once a week, remain unsolved. In my opinion it is not a question of fitness but rather the toll of fixtures taking the edge off the players of the leading clubs and that tends to neutralise the difference between the clubs at the top and in the lower portion of the Premier Division. Dundee, whom we entertain this afternoon, have not had the distraction of a midweek fixture and that plus their improved form this term will make it even harder for us to gain both points. I must, however, repeat that we want success and it is vitally important that we continue to play twice a week. Their teams are welcome to free midweeks, I am quite content to continue to seek a solution to the problems of playing twice weekly by practice not theory.