Improvement Demanded By Houston

25 October 2010 06:49
Dundee United will have to get their act together and not be so generous if they want to overcome Motherwell tomorrow. Peter Houston has told his Dundee United players he expects to see a vast improvement when they head to Fir Park tomorrow after they helped Motherwell to a 2-1 league win. Own goals from Scott Severin, inside the first minute, and Sean Dillon gave Motherwell three points that keep them in third place, although David Goodwillie's 50th-minute equaliser was also a gift as Stephen Craigan handled to concede a penalty. The nature of Motherwell's goals belied their dominance with Houston admitting the home team were "hungrier, sharper and better". Severin compounded his initial misjudgment of a clearance to divert the ball home after 50 seconds but Motherwell broke clinically in between through Alan Gow, Nick Blackman and Jamie Murphy, whose shot was pushed on to the United defender by Dusan Pernis. And Dillon could do little else but turn home Chris Humphrey's brilliant driven cross as Blackman waited to pounce in the 75th minute. Motherwell's four attacking players caused countless problems running at the vulnerable United defence as Houston's men lost their first away game outside of Glasgow for 17 months. And the Tannadice manager knows his team cannot afford to start so badly when they face Well in the Co-operative Insurance Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday night. He said: "The good thing for us - well hopefully it's a good thing - is that we are here in the cup in a couple of days' time. We know Motherwell are a decent side but we have got an opportunity to correct that. The players are disappointed we lost the game. Normally after a poor performance they have always come back and answered the question that is asked of them. All I can hope for is that they answer that question on Tuesday." United comfortably finished third last season and Houston believes Motherwell are strong contenders to take that place this season. He said: "They are an attacking side, they have got good players. But I would say the same about Hearts, on their day they are a good side. There are a few good sides. It's far too early, it's after Christmas when I look to see where we are. I'm not worried about finishing third at this moment of time, I'm more worried about why we are starting so poorly and giving teams the initiative." Motherwell boss Craig Brown, who handed Gow his first SPL start but is likely to recall John Sutton for the cup tie, has stressed that the next encounter will be more difficult against a United side looking for revenge. And Humphrey is also taking nothing for granted despite his satisfaction with Saturday's performance. The winger said: "We dominated the whole game. I thought we played well in the first half. The penalty came along but we didn't let our heads drop and kept battling away and got the second goal. We always looked like we were going to score a second goal. It's a massive win, especially as we have got them on Tuesday. But a win on Saturday doesn't mean we will win on Tuesday. They will be angry and want to come back and do us over in the cup. Tuesday is going to be a massive game and we need to start from scratch again and hopefully perform like we did on Saturday and get to the semi-final." Editor Ger Harley (ger@scottishfitba net)Admin Team (admin@scottishfitba net)This is ScottishFitba Net