sport

Houston seeks swift response

Dundee United manager Peter Houston hopes his players can produce a backlash from Easter Road in Friday's SPL match with Kilmarnock.

United lost 2-1 to league leaders Hibernian last Sunday, which halted their recent revival in the SPL.

Houston's side have the chance to get back to winning ways when Kilmarnock visit Tannadice and he has urged them to make amends for the manner in which they went down in Edinburgh.

He said: "The players were very frustrated after losing to Hibs and we're obviously hoping to take some of that feeling into the Kilmarnock game.

"We shouldn't have been 2-0 down by our standards. One thing they know is that they can't put in a first-half performance like we did at Easter Road.

"We were on the back foot and allowed Hibs to dictate to us, which wasn't like us. But Tannadice is different and we always seem to enjoy a night game.

"We want to start at a high tempo and hopefully take the game to Kilmarnock.

"The games with Killie are normally tight but we have to look to get our noses in front and see where it takes us."

United lost the corresponding fixture 3-1 in Ayrshire in August but Houston is confident there will be no repeat of their defending that day.

He said: "Earlier in the season when we lost 3-1 down at Rugby Park we gave away some soft goals.

"But I think we've learned from that experience and I'm sure the boys will be a lot tighter at the back this time.

"We were on a bit of a roll until the Hibs match but it's great to have a game so soon after to look forward to."

The Taysiders can move above Killie with a win as well as into the top six, but Houston is paying no attention to league placings at this early stage.

He added: "We're gradually improving after a slow start. But I've always said to judge us at the end of the season.

"It doesn't really matter if we get into the top six by beating Kilmarnock on Friday night.

"Things are so tight with all the teams right now and I would expect it to be like that until the end of the season."