P - P
P - P
League (Premier Division)
Alan Ferguson (Giffnock) (Referee)
Dundee referee Bob Valentine found himself involved in a curious situation yesterday.
Due to officiate in the Celtic- Rangers confrontation at Parkhead at 2 p.m. he was called in to make an inspection of the Dens Park pitch at nine o'clock in the morning, before leaving for Glasgow.
Bob had no hesitation in declaring Dens playable at that time and duly set off for Parkhead.
When he arrived at Celtic Park he had, equally, no hesitation in declaring that ground unplayable because of flooding, even although it had been inspected earlier in the day by Glasgow referee David Syme who said it was playable!
The spotlight had by then swung back to Dens, where match referee Alan Ferguson, of Giffnock, had arrived to make his inspection and, at 12.22 p.m., declared the pitch unplayable.
There was ice and water down the centre of the field and the ground was hard and crisp on the Dens Road side.
Neither of yesterday's postponed Premier League matches have to be played, under Scottish League rules, until next month.
But with the Scottish Cup ties due later this month and League Cup semi-finals already scheduled for late January/the beginning of February-and replays probable in both-there are bound to be problems over suitable dates.
As it is, United's game against St Mirren, postponed a fortnight ago when Tannadice Park was waterlogged, has been re-arranged by the League for February 22 at Tannadice and United are due to play St Mirren at Love Street in the League only three days later.
Match report written by The Courier
No league table has been added for this season.
Before getting down to the business in hand today, I would like to take this opportunity of wishing everyone all the best for a Happy New Year in 1984.
There is something very special about games over the New Year Holiday and the fact that today's fixture is also a local derby must surely add spice to the occasion.
I'm unable to comment on the last two games due to printer's holidays so I will content myselfbby dealing with today's task.
Having played in derby matches for United against Dundee I know just how much they mean to the players, officials and fans of each club.
Certainly, Dundee's derby win at Tannadice last time round certainly gave the players a lot of heart and I'm told the fans quite enjoyed that day too! But that victory apart, we haven't succeeded in giving United an awful lot to worry about especially here at Dens Park - so it must be a priority to change that, hopefully starting today.
This game will certainly continue my baptism of fire in management and to be perfectly honest, I've no idea how I will react to the situation once the referee has blown his first whistle. But I do intend to enjoy myself and I hope the players do too.
There is great rivalry between both clubs but it is healthy rivalry and that is the way it must stay.
This means that we will always want to beat each other and that again is the way it always should be. United have a lot of very good players - that's no secret and they have done extremely well in the past and are continuing to do well.
Today's match should attract a bumper crowd and the players of both sides should relish that. A big crowd generates a good atmosphere and I've yet to meet a player who doesn't respond to that.
The fans, too, can play their part-as I discussed in the last Match Magazine - and I'll be looking for support of the very best kind from our sections of the ground this afternoon.
MY IMMEDIATE AIM IS TO GIVE YOU A TEAM THAT IS UNSTINTING IN ITS EFFORT AND APPLICATION BUT AT THE SAME TIME A TEAM THAT IS PLAYING ATTRACTIVE FOOTBALL.