sport

Millar to give Houston problem

Mark Millar is hoping his Dundee United career is at last up and running.

The 24-year-old midfielder joined the Tayside club from Falkirk last summer but admits a struggle for fitness has held him back.

He did not make his first start until a home match against Aberdeen in October and was mostly on the fringes thereafter, but has been given the nod by manager Peter Houston for the last three games against St Mirren, Kilmarnock and Celtic.

The former Parkhead youth player, capped at Scotland under-19 and under-21 level, is hoping to be handed a starting berth against Ross County in tomorrow's Clydesdale Bank Premier League encounter at Tannadice.

"Obviously it has been a tough time this season," he said. "I haven't had as much game time as I would like and I am no different from anyone else, I want to play as much as I can.

"I think it (struggle to get regular starts) has been about both my fitness and the boys doing so well.

"I only have myself to blame for the fitness side and obviously you can't really complain when the boys are playing well and you can't get in the team.

"But I have been working hard and have played the last few games so hopefully I have given the gaffer a headache and hopefully I get picked again tomorrow."

The United players discovered last week that boss Peter Houston will be leaving the club at the end of the season.

However, Millar insists that news has not altered the mindset of the dressing room.

"I don't think it has changed," he said. "We know what we have to do, we want to finish in the top half of the table, so regardless of who the manager is, we will work hard and try to get results.

"Players and managers come and go but everyone gives 100 per cent and hopefully you get your rewards at the end of the season.

"I need to knuckle down but that is the same with every player.

"We know the gaffer is leaving but we don't know who the new gaffer is going to be, so we need to work for the new manager, whoever that may be."

Houston has targeted an improvement in home form, starting against the Staggies.

The Taysiders, sitting in seventh place, have only won two home SPL games this season, the last of which was a 3-0 win over neighbours Dundee last August.

The former Scotland assistant said: "That has been the biggest disappointment this season and it becomes an issue when we have not won at home since the Dundee derby.

"There have been too many draws when we have played well enough to see teams off.

"You always hope you can turn your home ground into a fortress. Unfortunately, our home form has not been as good as it should have been but our away form has been really good.

"But if we can keep that away form going and turn the home form around then I am convinced we can get top six."

Houston has a fully-fit squad but is unsure whether he will be able to add to it although he is waiting to see if midfielder Rudi Skacel wants to extend his time on Tayside.

He said: "Rudi Skacel has a week left but he wants to keep his options open because he is 33.

"I would like to keep him. I would like to bring people in but finances are tight.

"But if we had to go to the end of the season with everyone fit then I would be happy because I think we are good enough to get that top six position."