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Peter Houston admits AEK Athens taught United a lesson

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United players were nervous - Houston

Peter Houston admitted his Dundee United side were taught a lesson by AEK Athens in their Europa League play-off first leg 1-0 defeat at Tannadice.

"It was good experience. Our lads will have learned so much from that. Hardly any of them had played any European football before," said the United boss.

"They learned what a good side AEK are. I cannot fault my players' effort.

"But I have never seen us give the ball away so many times, especially in the first half. I put that down to nerves."

United travel to the Olympic Stadium in Athens next week needing to over-turn the defeat to progress to the Europa League.

I am pleased with many aspects of their commitment but they know and I know that they can play a lot better

Dundee United manager
Peter Houston

And the Tannadice manager told BBC Scotland that he hoped for better from his players.

"Prince Buaben, Morgaro Gomis and Scott Robertson are three of the best midfielders in Scotland, in my opinion," said Houston.

"But tonight they kept giving the ball away in the middle of the park. Ball retention is a big thing in Europe.

"It's only 1-0 - who knows what can happen? - but it's a tall order.

"I am pleased with many aspects of their commitment but they know and I know that they can play a lot better than that.

"You've got to give credit to Athens. They are a strong, physical team and technically they are very good."



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see also
Dundee Utd 0-1 AEK Athens
19 Aug 10 |  Europe


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