Dundee United manager Peter Houston believes Hearts’ wrangle over wages won’t affect how Saturday’s opponents perform on the park.
Members of the SPL board have again been forced to address the late payment of player wages at Tynecastle when they met this week but the United boss maintains off-the-field issues will not affect John McGlynn’s men when the two teams clash at Tannadice.
”To be fair to the Hearts players, any time that’s ever happened their attitude has been spot on,” he said. ”They’ve got boys like Andy Webster who are good in the dressing room and they’ll put it to the back of their minds and they’ll play as hard as they can. It won’t make any difference to them.”
Inconsistency has been the big problem for both sides early on in this SPL season and Houston puts that down to the transition that has gone on at both clubs in recent times.
Indeed, the United boss has great respect and admiration for what his opposite number is trying to do at Tynecastle.
”John McGlynn has come into a job where he’s had to introduce young boys a wee bit like ourselves, because I’ve had to build over the last three years,” he said.
”John has had to go with the younger boys and the big hitters, like Rudi Skacel, are away from there, so Hearts fans are going to have to be patient like Dundee United fans have been with regards to giving him a chance to rebuild.
”He’s a good manager, a very good coach and he’ll do a good job, so they’ll be disappointed they lost last week but we are disappointed we didn’t beat Ross County. That’s the way it is that’s football.”
Houston revealed that knee injury victim Jon Daly is still ”touch and go” for the game, although he stressed the skipper would not even be on the bench if he wasn’t fit enough to feature.
New signing Gregory Vignal will also have to wait for his United debut.
”I’m not going to rush him. He might get a spot on the bench at best,” Houston said. ”He certainly won’t start the game. He needs a couple of games and didn’t play against Ross County at St Andrews the other day because he needs a wee bit more sharpness.
”Every day he looks that bit better, so rather than play him and get a calf or hamstring injury, which could easily happen if you’ve not played for a while, I’m not going to rush Gregory.”