Dundee United v Hibs reaction
Last Updated: 05/08/12 4:24pm
Houston: Happy with start
Peter Houston praised the fitness levels of his players as they secured a comfortable 3-0 victory over Hibernian to go top of the SPL table.
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."
It was arguably the competitive edge that gave the home side a great start to the game with Russell opening the scoring after three minutes just after being denied a penalty following a collision with Hibs goalkeeper Ben Williams.
Houston may have been pleased with the start but felt his team missed the chance to wrap up the points well ahead of Daly adding the second in the 74th minute.
"We scored a goal and in my opinion we could have had a penalty but the referee didn't see it that way so we just have to get on with it.
"The other side of it was that we created that many chances, their goalkeeper has made a couple of good saves most noticeably through Jon Daly in the first half, and we missed glorious chances in the second half through Russell and Daly again.
"The game could have been won before it was but I cannot praise the players enough because they went about their business, they started at a high tempo and were still running."
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.
"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," he added.