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Tannadice appointment

Courts insists he is the right man for United job

Mentality: Thomas Courts (pic: SNS Group).

New Dundee United head coach Thomas Courts insists he has what it takes to lead the Tannadice club forward.

The appointment of the 39-year-old, who has been promoted from within the club to replace Micky Mellon, has divided opinion among the fans.

Courts has little top-flight playing experience and can county junior side Kelty Hearts as the highlight on his managerial CV.

“From my perspective when I got the job at Kelty Hearts at 32 years old I was still playing, I was given the responsibility as manager so I’ve now got 300 games under my belt as a manager,” said United’s former head of tactical analysis for the youth academy.

“I have the mentality to lead this club, drive it, lead it through maybe some tough times because in competitive sport tough times come. The reflections I’ve had, I feel really ready.

“When I got the offer to speak to the club I was optimistic because I felt I was ready for the challenge. At each part of the process, I felt that I gave a good account of myself and articulated my vision for the club moving forward and, thankfully, I’m now sitting as the new head coach of Dundee United Football Club in the Scottish Premiership.

Micky Mellon

Micky Mellon: left after a year (pic: SNS Group)

“The fans are getting an experienced manager, one who has a proven capability of winning, developing players and also being open and receptive to giving opportunities to young players as well.

“This is where I want to be, the calibre of player I want to work with on a day-to-day basis and this is the stature of club I feel I can propel myself into and drive the club to the next level.

“There has been a little bit of energy online surrounding the appointment but I want to harness that energy. I’ve seen the fans at this ground suck the ball into the net and turn Tannadice into a cauldron in the Dundee derby. Any energy that has been online is something I want to harness and redirect on to the pitch when the fans come back into the stadium.

“I think the fans should be excited. We’ve got the foundations laid here and it’s a really exciting time to be connected with this club and certainly an exciting time to be leading the club.”

Following five years in charge of Kelty Hearts, Courts arrived at Tannadice in January 2019 when he was appointed the academy’s Head of Tactical Performance. Last season he stepped up to coaching the Under-18s squad for their first season in the CAS Under-18 Elite league.

Courts has named former Hearts coach and Livingston No. 2 Liam Fox as his assistant.

United sporting director Tony Asghar said: “The board and I are pleased to have Tam and Liam leading our first team.

“We have been extremely impressed by Tam since he joined the club 18 months ago and I believe he is an excellent appointment with a tremendous skill-set that can only enhance what we have already in place. He has demonstrated an incredible work ethic, a real passion for the Club and the players and a confidence in his own abilities to step up and take charge of the first team.”

Former Celtic star Charlie Mulgrew is reported to be among Courts’ first signing targets, the 35-year-old out of contract after leaving Blackburn Rovers at the end of the season.

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