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IAN ROACHE: Dundee United will be feeling like a rejected lover but they can still find Mr Wright

Tommy Wright.
Tommy Wright.

Dundee United will today be feeling like a spurned lover, wondering what they have done to deserve this.

Everything had been going so well, or so they thought, but now Robbie Neilson has gone back to his ex.

They will ask: Where did it all go wrong? What do they have that we don’t? How could he do this to us?

United’s friends and family will rally round, and say that he isn’t worth crying over and that they will get over this heartbreak one day.

The signs that this love affair was on the rocks were well hidden, to say the least.

Just ask the 5,000-plus United season ticket holders who were looking forward to a Premiership return with Neilson in the dugout.

Just ask the Tangerines’ players who, a mere week ago, took the first step towards that top-flight comeback with their socially-distanced training sessions.

Just ask transfer target Kevin Nisbet, whom the Tangerines were trying to buy from Dunfermline. The striker must now be wondering how he could go to a team without a manager.

Just ask prize asset Lawrence Shankland, who has stayed at Tannadice only to see his gaffer sprint through the exit door.

There certainly won’t be much love lost between United and Hearts, with the Tynecastle side moving, in the space of a few days, from trying to keep them down in the Championship to taking their manager.

Congratulations to the Jam Tarts for finding the cash to fund not just the compensation due to United but also Neilson’s three-year deal so soon after owner Ann Budge asked for wage cuts at Tynecastle and raised the spectre of £8 million being lost as a result of their – still likely – relegation.

The solution to this break-up will be to move quickly and smartly to find the next Mr Right or even Mr Wright for that matter.

Tommy Wright is the outstanding candidate and the Tangerines would be selling themselves short if they didn’t at least try to get him.

If they can persuade St Johnstone’s greatest boss – the person who beat them to the Scottish Cup in 2014 – that his next career moved should be 20 miles or so down the road from Perth then maybe love will be in the air once again.

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