St Johnstone v Dundee United
St Johnstone followed up their shock 1-0 victory over Celtic with a comprehensive 3-0 dismantling of Livingstone in the league cup on Wednesday. Saints manager Derek McInnes puts the winning formula down to a combination of experience and effort, and believes that the results can be a springboard for the rest of the year.
‘It’s great because it’s two fingers up to a lot of people who have started to doubt us this year – people questioned us losing to Dunfermline last week. But I have total belief in this squad of players. We have the right types and that will serve us well.’
Peter Houston is hoping for an improvement in the final third of the field following Dunfermline’s late winner at Tannadice last week. United have taken Fulham striker Lauri Dalla Valle on loan until January, with an option to extend the deal until the end of the season. The 19 year-old Finnish under-21 internationalist made his debut for Fulham at the start of the season, and Houston is hoping that he can bring some much needed guile to the United forward line.
‘Once I knew he was available and knowing how highly he is rated by Fulham reserve coach Billy McKinlay, I wanted him signed up quickly. Lauri is a player I have been aware of for some time, having seen him play at Liverpool.’
Houston is finding it difficult to fill the void left by David Goodwillie’s departure to Blackburn, but has urged fans not to put to much pressure on his young strikers. United forced 13 corners against Dunfermline last week but failed to capitalise, leaving the Tannadice faithful frustrated,
‘The least I thought we were going to get was a draw. I look at some of the chances we created in the first half but we came up against a goalkeeper who has made a couple of world-class saves. I can’t fault the players for the effort they put into the match. But our quality, our final ball and our passing, certainly up front, should have been better.
We look solid enough in the middle of the park but we need someone who is going to give us that wee bit of magic. We’ve got hard-working good young players but today exemplified the fact that young players take time [to develop].’