Published: 19th May 2000

Despite almost certainly being without several players at Celtic on Sunday, Paul Sturrock will be looking for a positive end to the season. Results have not been as good as the manager would have wanted in the second half of the campaign, but aspects of recent performances have both pleased and encouraged him.

"I'd have liked a few more wins, but at least we have been passing the ball well over the last five or six games and that has been encouraging," says Paul. "I want to see more of that against Celtic and there should be no excuse because they are a team who allow you to do that."

As has so often been the case this term, United have a string of injury problems to contend with as the trip to Glasgow's east end draws near. Now confirmed as definite absentees are Bernard Pascual, Darren Patterson and Pat Onstad, while David Partridge and David McCracken miss out through suspension.

On top of that, Jim Hamilton, Tassos Venetis and Jim Hamilton will all need fitness tests before it is decided whether or not they can play. That means veteran Maurice Malpas, who did well after coming on against Motherwell last week, will be handed a starting place alongside Jason de Vos at the heart of the defence.