November 27, 2012
Houston keeping feet on ground
Team Stat Comparison
|Goals for *||1.6||1.7|
|Goals against *||1.7||1.4|
|Last 5 home||L-L-L-W-D||W-W-D-W-W|
|Last 5 away||W-L-D-D-D||L-L-W-W-D|
|* Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club|
|Stats: Dundee United | Motherwell|
Manager Peter Houston is eager for his Dundee United side to extend their recent run of form against Motherwell at Tannadice.
The Clydesdale Bank Premier League fixture comes less than three weeks after Johnny Russell's 84th-minute header handed United a 1-0 win at Fir Park and offers the seventh-placed hosts the chance to go above Well in a congested table.
Houston, whose side have three wins and three draws in the last seven games, told Press Association Sport: "The teams are so close together just now, it wouldn't be a major blow if we didn't or a huge lift psychologically to go above them.
"The league will sort itself out. We're five points off the top of the table, with a game in hand over other teams, against Celtic.
"At the same time Dundee and St Mirren aren't too far away from us either.
"It's nice to see we're at the top of the form guide. We've got 11 points from the last six games, equal with Inverness.''
Motherwell finished third in the SPL last term and Houston anticipates another stern test against a team he admires.
"Although we won the last game it was a very, very tight match that could've gone either way and a draw might've been a fair result,'' he said.
"We were probably fortunate to win; it was a bit of quality from Johnny Russell's header. Motherwell had good chances and hit the post and bar.
"They have a front six capable of scoring goals in any company. We're going to be in for a tough, tough match.
"We need to make sure we try to get in front in games; too often we're going behind and having to chase games.
"It would be nice for me as a manager to be sitting goals up.''
Motherwell boss Stuart McCall hopes Darren Randolph escapes retrospective punishment following an incident in Saturday's Clydesdale Bank Premier League game against Hearts.
The goalkeeper collided with Callum Paterson during the goalless draw but referee Crawford Allan opted to take no action.
Speaking ahead of the game at Dundee United, McCall said: "The referee couldn't have been any nearer.
"He deemed it wasn't anything malicious, it was a coming together and a collision.
"Last season, when the compliance officer was brought in, it was for things that the referee, fourth official or linesman didn't see.
"I was a little bit surprised to see all this talk but we will just have to wait and see.
"It's not ideal because we've got a game on Tuesday.''
On the incident, he added: "Camera angles are different.
"Certainly, with one camera angle behind the goal, it doesn't look too clever.
"From the angle I saw it the first time, and the angle at the side, it looks as though Darren is coming out, as all goalkeepers do, to protect himself.
"There is a little bit of the foot flicking out at probably the last second but all angles are different.
"Unfortunately, Darren has caught the boy and it probably looks worse than it is.
"He's certainly not malicious, it's not something he has done before or does on a regular occasion.''