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Utd Lacked Russell Duncan's Ability

Utd Lacked Russell Duncan's Ability

Craig Levein believes that Dundee United are out of the Scottish Cup because they lacked the brilliance of Russell Duncan infront of goal.

Caley Thistle's Russell Duncan scored a 16th minute long-range volley to clinch a quarter-final spot for the Inverness club, but United couldn't find the back of the net from an identical distance at the other end of the pitch.

"There was nothing in it. We were beaten by a pretty special goal, it was a fantastic finish," said Levein after the match.

"I've got to look at it and think how could we have defended it better. One player was in the wrong position for a long throw. It just shows you that if people aren't aware of their defensive responsibilities, especially at set pieces - which I consider a long throw to be - then it'll cost you."

"We had half a dozen shots from similar positions and didn't hit the target and there's the difference between going out of the cup and not."

In recent weeks, Levein has been highly critical of his defence, as Dundee United struggled to repeat the kind of form they had towards the end of 2006 - with just 1 point out of 12 in the SPL so far in 2007.

However, against Caley is was the frontmen that let the side down, because for the 5th time in 6 games since the New Year, they failed to find the back of the net.

Levein continued, "If you go into a football match and your most creative players don't perform, then there is a chance that you're not going to score goals."

"Our two wide players didn't do as well today as they have been doing and that's probably the high standards that they've set themselves that I've gauging them with."

"We didn't do particularly well in the wide areas. Even when balls did come into the box, we didn't react well enough to 2nd balls. The keeper spilled two shots and a cross - we didn't react to that well enough."

"We had a couple of good opportunities. Robertson's missed a header from 2 yards, passed the post. Noel Hunt had a tap in and him and David Robertson ran into each other - These 2 are easier chances than Caley had all day."

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Writer:Arab Jacques
Date:Monday February 5 2007
Time: 1:31PM

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3 Hearts 24 12 8 4 44 21
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