The Dundee United Football Club Historical Archive. Preserving United History Since 2006.
Despite not quite emulating last week's form. United recorded their best Premier victory over the Easter Road side. Eamonn Bannon gave United the lead in 33 minutes but it took substitute John Reilly to confirm victory with his 75th minute goal, before Davie Dodds added the third, a couple of minutes later.
I am sure that all the fans who attended our last two home matches would testify that last Saturday's victory over Rangers capped a memorable week in many ways, providing as it did a double over the "Old Firm" in the space of four days. It was a great achievement but, like myself, most of you will have felt the bitter disappointment of defeating Celtic yet failing to qualify for the League Cup final. One of the most pleasing aspects of the last fortnight was the manner in which the players shrugged off that 5-1 reversal at Pittodrie. Not since the replayed Scottish Cup final defeat had I seen so much despondency in the camp. The way the players responded is, I think, proof of the improvement in Dundee United. In mid-week we had six players involved at all levels of the international squads. In addition, Wattie Smith would have assisted youth coach Andy Roxburgh in Monaco had club commitments not kept him at Tannadice. It is heartening to the directors, scouts, coaching staff and myself to see our efforts rewarded by such recognition. It is also testimony of the directors dedication to keep our best players at Tannadice. Their retention is required to speed up the development of young players. I am more excited about the progress of the club than ever before. Youngsters like Dave Beaumont, Gary McGinnis, Jimmy Page, John Clark and Alex Taylor are all pushing for contention in the first team and most gratifying is the fact that the latter trio are forward players, a department in which we badly need greater depth. Make no mistake, we will be looking to the younger players already here at Tannadice to strengthen our pool. I have found it impossible to bring players of the required standard to Tannadice from other clubs, either because exorbitant fees have been quoted or proposed player exchanges haven't been mutually acceptable. We must, therefore, rely on our existing staff to supplement the first team squad. I am hardly noted for being extravagant with the players but I have given Paul Hegarty, Davie Dodds, Derek Stark and Billy Kirkwood a few days off this week after our recent hectic programme. They required a break whilst the remainder of the players on international duty should have been stimulated by the different atmosphere at that level. Looking ahead, we still have next Wednesday's U.E.F.A. tie against Werder Bremen to maintain our European involvement, but before turning our thoughts to that match we face Hibs in the most important tournament of all — the League. We therefore accord a welcome to Pat Stanton who is making his first visit to Tannadice as Hibs boss. Scottish football badly needs a successful Hibs and Hearts side as they have the potential to make the inroads into the "Old Firm's" supremacy in the same way as United and Aberdeen have done. I am sure that is Pat Stanton's aim too, though I have no wish to see a repeat of the scoreline on Hibs' last visit in April when the Easter Road side won 1-0 to record their first ever premier success on this ground.