Football - Pawlett highlights United flaw

Aberdeen match-winner Peter Pawlett insists Dundee United only have themselves to blame after letting nine points slip from their grasp between Christmas and New Year.

The Tannadice side sat second in the Scottish Premiership at the start of the festive week but suffered a 4-1 drubbing to St Mirren on Boxing Day, lost 3-0 to St Johnstone last Sunday before starting 2014 with another defeat after Pawlett grabbed a last-gasp winner in the Dons' 2-1 win on Tayside.

But the Perth loss came after United boss Jackie McNamara made eight changes to his side - resting the likes of Stuart Armstrong, Ryan Gauld and Gary Mackay-Steven.

Seven of those players came back in for the meeting with the Reds but could not save United from a third defeat in a week as they slipped six points behind Aberdeen and eight behind second-placed Motherwell.

Now Pawlett claims McNamara got his team selection all wrong.

The 22-year-old said: "Dundee United rested a few players against St Johnstone and it was as though they treated this as the big game for them.

"When we saw that we thought they were giving us respect and think we're a decent team. Maybe they didn't show enough respect to St Johnstone.

"I think over the 90 minutes we looked the stronger, fitter team so maybe it was a mistake by them."