Dundee United have called for unity as their hunt for a new head coach continues.
The Tangerines have faced questions from fans over the recruitment process for the vacant role, for which academy head of tactical performance Tam Courts remains the odds-on favourite.
Now the club has responded by insisting it “remains on course with [its] strategy for future success”.
Courier Sport understands that strategy includes the creation of a clear player pathway from the club’s robustly invested youth academy to the Tannadice first team.
A statement attributed to the club’s board confirmed the process of selecting Micky Mellon’s replacement as head coach has begun – and involves “several exciting candidates”.
It said: “The board of Dundee United is committed to our long term development and continuous improvement across all areas of the club in line with the aims and targets set out when we were appointed.
“Everyone has played their part in our progress to this point; from the staff, players and coaches who helped us achieve promotion to the Premiership to those that helped us consolidate our place last season during an extraordinary season, and of course, our supporters who continue to back us.
“As we move forward, everyone involved must align with the performance and development strategy to ensure the best performance across the club.
“We have begun the process of selecting a new head coach to continue the significant development achieved under the guidance of the executive board and critical personnel already within the club.
“You can rest assured that any appointment will be made after a careful recruitment process involving several exciting candidates has been finalised and the board agree with the appointment.
“While we fully understand the desire and demands of our supporters, partners and the wider external media outlets to find out who will be the next person to lead our first team, we will take our time and complete the selection process to ensure the best for Dundee United Football Club.
“Our club has a clear vision, and despite the complications of the pandemic, we remain on course with our strategy for future success. We also remain excited about the future.
“We thank all our supporters, partners and other key stakeholders for their continued support during this process and appreciate your patience.”
Bookies’ favourite to succeed Micky Mellon, Courts, is understood to have impressed the United board with his work since arriving at the Tannadice club’s academy in February 2020.
However, concerns have been raised by fans over his relative lack of first team coaching experience.
A statement released on Thursday by the Federation of Dundee United Supporters’ Clubs revealed they – along with other fan groups – had written to the club with questions relating to the current recruitment process.
They said: “In relation to the current vacant manager position and growing concerns amongst fans with those in charge of the day-to-day running of the club, please be advised that we together with the other other members of Dundee United Supporters’ Group emailed the club yesterday, asking for a response within 72 hours.
“We will keep you updated once a reply is received.”
JIM SPENCE: Dundee United youth strategy is not risk free – but fans should strap in for ride which could end ‘dull backwater’ days at Tannadice