Dundee Utd v Hearts reaction
Peter Houston had no intention of allowing Rudi Skacel to take a penalty in Dundee United's Scottish League Cup shootout defeat to Hearts.
Czech forward Skacel left Hearts after winning the Scottish Cup in May and trained with the Tynecastle club before joining United last week.
He came off the bench in extra-time but, as Hearts had already been reduced to 10 men by the sending-off of Darren Barr, United had to de-select a player, meaning Skacel was a frustrated observer as Sean Dillon's miss handed the visitors a place in the semi-finals.
Skacel had to be coaxed from the field, but Houston insisted the forward was never going to take a penalty.
The United boss said: "He wasn't upset. We spoke about it before. He knew about it. I wasn't going to let him take a penalty.
"I took Rudi out of it. I thought it would be best with the guys who I know taking penalties, and trust. I trust the players who were left on the park.
"I don't think it would've been fair on him. I felt there would be less pressure on the players that have been here for a while."
Callum Paterson put the visitors in front after 20 minutes and hit a post in the second half after Johnny Russell's 35th-minute equaliser.
Hearts midfielder Barr was sent off for a second bookable offence after 78 minutes and United went closest to an extra-time winner when John Rankin hit the post in the 119th minute before the disjointed affair went to penalties.
The teams remained level after the regulation five penalties apiece and after Hearts captain Marius Zaliukas converted the 13th spot-kick, Dillon stepped up to fire wide, sending the visitors into the last four alongside Celtic, Inverness and St Mirren.
Houston added: "The biggest disappointment is not the penalty kicks. The biggest disappointment was the 120 minutes before it.
"I don't think we did enough to win the game. At 1-1 I was doing cartwheels because I thought in the first half Hearts dominated."
Hearts manager John McGlynn was pleased to advance.
He said: "I'm delighted to get through. In the first half we started exceptionally well and were a wee bit disappointed to go in level at half-time.
"In the second half it was quite an even game, not too many chances and we went down to 10 men.
"I thought the lads showed good character and spirit and good organisation. Dundee United had very few chances."
Danny Grainger and John Sutton missed Hearts' first two penalties, but misses from Gary Mackay-Steven and Rankin meant the tie went to sudden death, with Dillon's miss decisive.
McGlynn added: "It goes to penalties and it was a bit of a lottery. We missed our first two and thought it was slipping away.
"Before you know it you're back in with a shout and you're actually ahead.
"We're delighted to get through."
Asked about Skacel's absence from the shootout, McGlynn added: "I was more concerned about our players."
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