Football: Sturrock unhappy at home

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The Independent Online
PAUL STURROCK, the Dundee United manager, told his side yesterday that they must regain the winning habit at home after St Johnstone had become the latest side to enjoy their Tayside jaunt to Tannadice.

A Billy Dodds volley put United ahead after 53 minutes on Saturday, but just minutes later Saints' Roddy Grant levelled from a penalty conceded by Craig Easton's challenge on Gary Bollan. The point meant United were unable to maintain the momentum generated by last week's impressive 3- 0 success at Aberdeen and leaves them among the Premier League strugglers.

"I am concerned by the fact we again failed to win at home," Sturrock said. "Our record at Tannadice is appalling, with only one win in eight games now.

"We cannot afford to rely on our form away from home, but if we continue defending in the way we have been then things won't improve."

For Grant, the draw was a welcome boost after their 2-1 League Cup final loss to Rangers last week. "Everyone was looking for a reaction after the Cup final, and I think we gave them the right one - we could even have won the game," he said.

Motherwell's meeting with Dundee at Fir Park was postponed as a mark of respect for Andy Thomson who collapsed on Friday night, the day after his 19th birthday. A joint statement from Motherwell and Thomson's family read: "His tragic loss has devastated all who were privileged to know him. He was a talented, skilled, enthusiastic, popular team player in the latter stages of his football apprenticeship.

"His helpfulness and sense of humour ensured he was well liked by everyone at Motherwell Football Club. He was a highly intelligent young man, dedicated and professional in every way.

"His death is not regarded as suspicious; the cause will be determined in the next few days. We would like to thank Dundee FC for assisting in our mark of respect in cancelling the match."

Alex Miller, the Aberdeen manager, spent the whole of last week sharpening up his defence only to witness another collapse at Kilmarnock that demoted his side to the foot of the table.

It was a poor performance from the Dons who were three goals down - two from Ally Mitchell and a Jerome Vareille strike - before the break, after which Paul Wright weighed in with a penalty.

The heavy loss followed last week's dismal 3-0 home reverse to Dundee United which had already put Miller's position into serious question.

But he has again vowed to stay at the helm and made it clear he is not about to resign from a post he has held for only a year.