Ex-Saints' squad number forces club apology

Daily Echo: RUDI SKACEL RUDI SKACEL

Dundee United manager Peter Houston has apologised to Hibernian fans for allowing new signing Rudi Skacel to choose shirt number 51.

The Czech winger opted for the digits as a tribute to former club Hearts' 5-1 win over Edinburgh rivals Hibs in the William Hill Scottish Cup final.

Former Saints midfielder Skacel had been training with his old club - who are now under a transfer embargo until Christmas - before penning a short-term deal with United yesterday.

Houston claims he had no idea of the significance of the squad number until it was too late.

Speaking after a 1-0 win over St Mirren in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League, he said: ''It's not my style to upset people.

''I said there were a few numbers available and he asked for 51.

''Call me naive but Gary Hooper wears 88 and Victor Wanyama wears 67 and I never thought of 51 being 5-1. Trust me, when I say that.

''It's registered straight away and, once you register it, you can't go back on it.

''I apologise to the Hibs fans. If I'd known, I wouldn't have given him the number.

''I'm not in the habit of trying to wind people up or noise other clubs up. Hibs are a fantastic club.

''Last night I was at Fir Park at Motherwell's game against Hibs doing TV and there were boys running down the aisles trying to have a go at me.

''I spoke to a couple of them and they were very reasonable.

''But I wouldn't have given Rudi the 51 if I'd thought about it clearly. It wasn't until the next day that someone mentioned it to me.''

Skacel came off the bench for the final 25 minutes in Paisley, with a Johnny Russell penalty in the second half securing the narrow win.

Houston added: ''We've got Rudi until the end of January. I'm sure he's a player we'd like to keep.

''He was brilliant in negotiations, he's on nowhere near the kind of money he was probably on at Hearts.

''All he wants to do is play. Where I've got it wrong, is letting him pick the 51 without switching on to it.''

The 1-0 victory ended a winless streak in the SPL for United and Houston hopes the result can act as a springboard.

He said: ''After not winning the last six games, it was important that we got the three points, rather than playing well and just getting a point.

''We've still got two games in hand so this game could kick-start our season.

''We ground out a result without being brilliant today. It was maybe tough on St Mirren but that's the way it goes sometimes.''

Saints boss Danny Lennon wanted a reaction from his players after last week's 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Celtic.

He said: ''I was disappointed not to take a single point from the game.

''The character was suspect last week and they certainly answered that today.

''We had a lot of possession. The operation went well but the patient died.''

Comments (6)

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8:52pm Sat 27 Oct 12

Kings Lynn Saint says...

And this story is relevant because????
And this story is relevant because???? Kings Lynn Saint
  • Score: 0

9:12pm Sat 27 Oct 12

insane saint says...

no idea he is not a saint so i don't really care. i think it is a case of the echo not knowing where the next story is coming from so they fill the site with oldens causing problems. i want to know all about the saints and the current crop. give us something that we can get our teeth into.

come on you reds

we will smash the spuds on sunday..
no idea he is not a saint so i don't really care. i think it is a case of the echo not knowing where the next story is coming from so they fill the site with oldens causing problems. i want to know all about the saints and the current crop. give us something that we can get our teeth into. come on you reds we will smash the spuds on sunday.. insane saint
  • Score: 0

11:16am Sun 28 Oct 12

andysaints007 says...

Kings Lynn Saint wrote:
And this story is relevant because????
Please tell us what your idea of 'relevance' is then! Are the echo only allowed to print stories that you have an interest in then? You pratt
[quote][p][bold]Kings Lynn Saint[/bold] wrote: And this story is relevant because????[/p][/quote]Please tell us what your idea of 'relevance' is then! Are the echo only allowed to print stories that you have an interest in then? You pratt andysaints007
  • Score: 0

11:18am Sun 28 Oct 12

andysaints007 says...

insane saint wrote:
no idea he is not a saint so i don't really care. i think it is a case of the echo not knowing where the next story is coming from so they fill the site with oldens causing problems. i want to know all about the saints and the current crop. give us something that we can get our teeth into.

come on you reds

we will smash the spuds on sunday..
I think you will find that the Echo are not actually here to pander to you! If you don't like it don't come on here then -simple !
[quote][p][bold]insane saint[/bold] wrote: no idea he is not a saint so i don't really care. i think it is a case of the echo not knowing where the next story is coming from so they fill the site with oldens causing problems. i want to know all about the saints and the current crop. give us something that we can get our teeth into. come on you reds we will smash the spuds on sunday..[/p][/quote]I think you will find that the Echo are not actually here to pander to you! If you don't like it don't come on here then -simple ! andysaints007
  • Score: 0

12:44pm Sun 28 Oct 12

G0Rf says...

Kings Lynn Saint wrote:
And this story is relevant because????
I came on the site to kill a few mins, by reading and commenting I have wasted a few mins, so it works for me!
[quote][p][bold]Kings Lynn Saint[/bold] wrote: And this story is relevant because????[/p][/quote]I came on the site to kill a few mins, by reading and commenting I have wasted a few mins, so it works for me! G0Rf
  • Score: 0

6:07pm Sun 28 Oct 12

Kings Lynn Saint says...

andysaints007 wrote:
Kings Lynn Saint wrote:
And this story is relevant because????
Please tell us what your idea of 'relevance' is then! Are the echo only allowed to print stories that you have an interest in then? You pratt
Who's rattled your cage????
[quote][p][bold]andysaints007[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Kings Lynn Saint[/bold] wrote: And this story is relevant because????[/p][/quote]Please tell us what your idea of 'relevance' is then! Are the echo only allowed to print stories that you have an interest in then? You pratt[/p][/quote]Who's rattled your cage???? Kings Lynn Saint
  • Score: 0

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