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Dundee United appoint Finn

Paatelainen in the hot seat at Tannadice

Dundee United have appointed Mixu Paatelainen as head coach and he will be tasked with lifting the club off the foot of the Premier League table after a poor start to the campaign.

Paatelainen was a striker for the club between 1987 and 1992 and also earned 70 caps for Finland. He was sacked as national coach in June after four years in charge.

He has managed Cowdenbeath, Hibernian and Kilmarnock and succeeds Jackie McNamara who was fired last month after a string of poor results.

Dundee United secured the Finn after failing to lure either John Hughes from Inverness or Tommy Wright from St Johnstone.

Tannadice chairman Stephen Thompson insisted he was their number one target. He said: “I am delighted to welcome Mixu back to the club as our new head coach.

“He served United with distinction as a player and will do the same as a manager. His desire to come back to the club was clear from the first minute we spoke. He was the first person we spoke to and also the last.

“His experience combined with his vision and enthusiasm for the club made him the standout candidate and we are thrilled to announce his appointment.”

During a 20-year playing career, Paatelainen played for Haka, Aberdeen, Bolton Wanderers, Cowdenbeath, Haka, Hibs, St Johnstone, St Mirren and Strasbourg.

He led Cowdenbeath to the old Third Division title and Hibs to a top-six finish in the Premier League. However, his tyle of play did no endear him to the Easter Road faithful and he left by mutual consent after 18 months.

He went on to be named the Scottish football writers’ manager of the year.

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