Houston hails United fitness

PA Sport
Peter Houston hailed a dominant display by Dundee United
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Peter Houston hailed a dominant display by Dundee United

Dundee United boss Peter Houston praised the fitness levels of his players as they secured a comfortable 3-0 victory over Hibernian to lead the Clydesdale Bank Premier League after the first round of fixtures.

An early strike from Johnny Russell was followed up with two goals in the second half - the first a header from captain Jon Daly before substitute Michael Gardyne capped his competitive debut by adding the third in stoppage-time.

Houston kept faith in the same starting XI that had earned a respectable 2-2 draw against Dinamo Moscow in the opening leg of their Europa League qualifier on Thursday night and was delighted with their collective effort.

"I thought it was a good professional performance," he said. "I did not change the team because they have proved their fitness levels and it wouldn't have made an excuse if we had started the game lethargically but I thought we started the game on fire.

"I was looking with 15 minutes ago to my backroom staff to say 'are any of them wilting?' - I just made substitutions for the sake of it to give them game time."

Hibs manager Pat Fenlon was unhappy with the performance of his players and thinks they did not deserve to travel back to Easter Road with anything.

"We got what we deserved to be honest," he said. "We didn't get anything out of the game and that is what we got, it was a poor performance."

Fenlon praised the performance of the home side and admitted his players were second best from the off.

He said: "Dundee United played well today and I don't want to take too much away from them. They were excellent and we were poor.

"It is always worrying when you lose matches whether it is at the start, the middle of the end (of the season), we didn't perform and gave away a shocking goal to start with and it is all uphill from there."

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