Scottish Premier League

Houston to leave Dundee United

Peter Houston will leave Dundee United at the end of the season.
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Dundee United manager Peter Houston has assured fans he will remain fully committed to the club until he quits at the end of the season.

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The 54-year-old confirmed in a joint press conference with chairman Stephen Thompson on Friday that he will leave Tannadice when his current contract expires this summer.

Houston had been in talks over a new deal but has opted not to remain at the Clydesdale Bank Premier League outfit on reduced terms.

The Tangerines boss is determined to end his United career on a high by ensuring the club finishes in the top six again this term.

He said: "I'm going to stay until the summer and a lot of people will question that in terms of my motivation.

"My motivation is much higher to finish in the top six again than it's ever been.

"I hope the supporters stay with us because there is nothing I would like more than to finish in the top six and have another fantastic run.

"I'm very highly motivated. If I have four years in the top six, it's an even more impressive CV.

"The fans might think I'm going to down tools for the next few months but they don't know me as a person if they think that."

Houston cited further cutbacks combined with his own desire to progress as a manager as the motivating factors behind his decision.

He added: "I want to be part of a successful Dundee United but I have my concerns - and my concerns are the fact that we have to compete on the pitch.

"There is only so much you can do if you continue to cut.

"I'm the first to understand that the club has to cut, they can't afford to keep going on.

"The Thompson family isn't a bottomless pit. The chairman and directors have to look after the financial side.

"Me, as a football person, wants the best team on the pitch."

Houston claims the offer on the table was a "very handsome" one and his planned departure is not down to being asked to accept a wage cut.

He said: "I could easily have accepted that package and, come October, got the sack and got a year's money. So I'm taking a huge risk.

"At this moment in time, the CV is good.

"I've done the best I can at Dundee United and I want to take the football club forward.

"But the club have to look after the finances and, at this moment in time, I don't see where both things can work together.

"The talks have been amicable but I want to strive to always have the best team on the park and be at the proper end of the league.

"If I'm being honest, I think it might be difficult in the next couple of years until something happens, such as reinvestment.

"Money isn't the issue for me. The issue for me is continuing to develop as a manager and trying to get my teams to play at the highest level possible."

United had granted permission for Blackpool to hold talks with Houston before the Championship side appeared to rule out a move.

Houston moved to clarify the situation.

He said: "I'm the innocent party here as far as Blackpool are concerned.

"The chairman said Mr (Karl) Oyston had contacted him and asked for permission to speak to me. My agent John Colquhoun said the same thing.

"At no time in my career as a manager at Dundee United, have I applied for any jobs.

"John never put me in for the Blackpool job or phoned Karl Oyston.

"I was told by the chairman and my agent that permission had been granted for the Blackpool thing.

"Fine - you show respect and I would have been happy to listen but I never got the phone call. I never got a reason for that.

"Perhaps part of the reason was that the furore that was in the newspapers and on TV the next day put Mr Oyston off. I might be wrong.

"I see no reason why you ask for permission and then I don't get a phone call - even to say you've changed your mind and you're going down a different route."

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