Johnny Russell denies Tannadice unrest

By Alasdair LamontBBC Scotland
Johnny Russell (left) celebates
Russell (left) scored in the 4-1 defeat of Dunfermine at East End Park

Dundee United forward Johnny Russell says he is "massively surprised" to see manager Peter Houston's future being called into question.

On Thursday, several newspapers suggested Houston was on the verge of being sacked because of the club's poor run of form.

Houston was due to meet the board on Sunday, with the manager aiming to find out the source of those reports.

"The boys are 100 per cent behind the gaffer," Russell told BBC Scotland.

Asked about speculation over players being unhappy with aspects of Houston's management, including his absences while on duty as Scotland assistant manager, Russell added: "Those are just rumours.

"We always knew he'd be going away with Scotland. It's massive for him to do that and it's good for the club.

"The gaffer's been getting a bit of stick, which is never nice to see, but he tells us to play football, he wants us to play the right way and he's always behind us, so we're behind him."

Russell scored as United notched just their second win in 11 games with a 4-1 defeat of Dunfermline Athletic.

He stressed that the players should carry the can for that poor run, rather than the man who guided them to a Scottish Cup victory just 17 months ago and who has twice taken the club into Europe.

Russell hopes the win at East End Park can be the catalyst for a more successful run.

"It's a tight league," he said. "Any run of results - a couple of wins - and you fly right back up it, so hopefully that's us turned the corner now."