Power cut frustrates Houston

PA Sport
Peter Houston was left frustrated by a power cut at Fir Park

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Peter Houston was left frustrated by a power cut at Fir Park

Dundee United manager Peter Houston saw the increased training workload for his players count for nothing after their Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash at Motherwell fell victim to a power cut.

Houston had cancelled the players' day off after their 4-0 defeat by Inverness the previous weekend and sensed they were about to make amends for their poor showing in the Highlands. But a power failure in the Motherwell area 10 minutes before kick-off led to the home club being forced to call off the game for safety reasons.

Houston was quick to absolve Motherwell of any blame for the postponement but could not hide his frustration. He said: "It's very disappointing."

He continued: "It was one of those things, during the course of the last six days when they have been in doing double training sessions after the horrendous performance last week, that you just sensed the players were together and you think you were going to get a good performance.

"That's not to say we would have got a good performance but I sensed within the players that they were really keen to get the game going ahead and it just adds to the frustration that we have to wait another fortnight. But there is nothing we can do about it, we just have to work hard and look forward to the Aberdeen game when we are at home."

Motherwell were also looking to bounce back from defeats against Rangers and Celtic. Manager Stuart McCall said: "It's a clean sheet, we have not had one of them for a while. There is nothing we can do about it. We were ready for a game and it makes it worse that we have to wait two weeks now."

ScottishPower said the power failure affected about 250 properties after a fault in an underground cable. Electricity was restored after an hour but Motherwell had initially been told it would be 6pm before supplies returned and they called the game off as areas inside the stadium and fan exit routes were unlit.

Motherwell chief executive Leeann Dempster said: "Some people are a bit annoyed and understandably. But what do we do, run a match and something happens and people will say 'why did you not evacuate it when you didn't have any power?' It's a no-brainer unfortunately."

SPL match delegate Willie McDougall praised the home club for their response.

"The whole co-ordination of an emergency situation has worked out well," he said. "The right decision was made on safety grounds. Fans will probably be saying 'it's daylight, why can't we play football?', but when you have a crowd and there's a responsibility for safety, that's the name of the game."

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