Houston - Huddersfield offer was a joke

Dundee United manager Peter Houston described Huddersfield's deadline-day bid for Johnny Russell and Gary Mackay-Steven as "an absolute joke" following their goalless draw at St Johnstone.

Mackay-Steven missed the Tayside derby at McDiarmid Park after undergoing a knee operation that could sideline him for six weeks.

The Tannadice outfit missed the winger's invention and cutting edge in the final third, but Houston is delighted he will at least be able to recall the Scotland Under-21 cap once he is fit after United turned down an offer of £1.25 million from the Terriers for both Mackay-Steven and team-mate Russell.

Houston was scathing in his assessment of the npower Championship side's approach as he summed up a poor 90 minutes in Perth.

He said: "There's no doubt about it that when you take a creative player like Gary Mackay-Steven out you miss him and I think it showed how much today.

"I think everybody would agree we missed a wee spark from him, to be able to take people on and occupy a couple of St Johnstone players, which he would have done had he played today. But we can't do anything about it, he's going to be out for six weeks. The plus side is we've still go him, and Johnny Russell as well.

"There was a derisory offer from Huddersfield, which makes me wonder why they can get £8 million plus a sell-on for one player they think is their best player and they want our two best players, two young, up-and-coming players who I think will be future Scotland internationals, for £1.25 million.

"I just laugh at that, it's an absolute joke, but it just shows what they think of us up here."

St Johnstone manager Steve Lomas believes his side could have emerged victorious after claiming the Perth men had made United look "ordinary". Following a 2-0 defeat away to Hibs last weekend, Saints are still without a victory in competitive action since March but Lomas is convinced things will turn for his players.

Lomas said: "I'm happy with the clean sheet and happy with the performance. You always want the result when you play well but we haven't got it in the last two weeks. But it's coming and I think there were a lot of positives there. Anybody watching would see that, against a good Dundee United team, we probably made them look quite ordinary."