Houston hopeful over Russell red

PA Sport
Peter Houston hopes Johnny Russell's, right, red card will be rescinded
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Peter Houston hopes Johnny Russell's, right, red card will be rescinded

Dundee United manager Peter Houston is hopeful that Johnny Russell's Dundee derby dismissal will be rescinded.

The striker played a pivotal part as United ran out 3-0 winners. After Gavin Gunning had headed the Tangerines in front, Russell's shot was deflected into the net by Dundee defender Davide Grassi before he netted a spectacular third just before the break - but he was sent off with 20 minutes remaining after an altercation with Stephen O'Donnell, who was also dismissed.

United boss Houston felt it was a harsh decision on both players, and he said: "I have seen it again and it is at best a yellow card for O'Donnell. Johnny hasn't really done anything so I'm going to speak to the chairman with regards to see if we should appeal it."

He added: "I have watched it a couple of times from different angles. The boy has slid in and caught Johnny, albeit not badly, the two tangled together but Johnny didn't in my opinion lash out as sometimes he can do."

But Houston said he was thrilled with the win, which puts his side top of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League, having picked up successive 3-0 victories in their opening two fixtures.

He added: "I'm delighted with the result. It means a lot to the supporters and the atmosphere was fantastic. I thought both sets of fans were brilliant. At 3-0 at half-time I expected us to play better than we did in the second half. I don't think we created as many chances in the second half as we did in the first when I thought the game was very even.

"It didn't materialise but you can play brilliantly in derby games and not win them. The most important thing was getting the three points. We have played two matches in the league and we have scored six without conceding, that means a lot to me."

Dundee manager Barry Smith was disappointed after the defeat left his team still searching for their first SPL win and goal of the new term.

He said: "I thought we started very well but the problem is we are conceding goals that you can't afford to do at this level.

"We need to show more spirit as we had an incredible following from the fans and the players should have a look at what it means to play for this club. The story of the past couple of games has been that we haven't taken our chances and then the other team has gone up the park and scored."

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