United got one back through skipper Jon Daly before the break and yet another dramatic comeback looked to be on. However, they were left with too much fire fighting to do and the scoreline stayed at 2-1.
So it was a frustrated Houston who tried to work out where his side is going wrong.
He said: "It has never been a joke but it is getting beyond the joke now. You are never always going to be able to come back from losing goals and we are asking questions of the players and myself.
"Why do we have to wait until we are 2-0 down before we start putting tackles in? We got the goal back and thought that would help with the second half going up the hill and I think we dominated. But if you keep giving yourselves mountains to climb it will come back to bite you and that's what happened tonight."
The manager added: "It is really frustrating and disappointing. I am not disappointed with the players' work ethic; I am not disappointed with the players' attitude or anything like that — but it has become a mental thing that we are going behind and having to chase games all the time.
"The SPL is so tight that if you give any team two goals of a start then it is going to be difficult. Tonight proved that, even though I thought we deserved something from the game. We need to talk about it but we have already done that."
Houston thought his team should have had a first-half penalty when Stuart Armstrong was felled in the box.
He added: "We are chasing games and it is like crisis management every week, having to throw players into false positions in an attempt to get goals back.
"So, while I can't fault the players for effort, they have to ask themselves questions. It has become harder than it should be. We are going down to Stranraer on Saturday (in the Scottish Cup) to play a side on a wee, tight pitch and we will need to make sure that it is us who scores the first goal."
Source: Dundee United Mad