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Win ratios of last five Dundee United managers as Tannadice side seek sixth boss in six years following Micky Mellon departure

Dundee United have parted ways with Micky Mellon after just ten months
Dundee United have parted ways with Micky Mellon after just ten months

Dundee United are seeking their sixth manager in six years following the departure of Micky Mellon.

Mellon has left his post following just ten months in charge after an ‘amicable’ parting of ways from the Tannadice club.

Since 2015, United have tried to find the winning formula via a revolving door of appointments at Tannadice.

Only two of those five managers lasted more than a year in the role – Ray McKinnon and Robbie Neilson.

During that period United have added the Challenge Cup (under McKinnon) and the Scottish Championship title (Neilson) to their trophy cabinet.

Here Courier Sport looks back on the men in charge at United over the last six years:

Mixu Paatelainen (October 2015-May 2016)

Mixu Paatelainen was in charge of Dundee United for just seven months

Paatelainen was a popular choice as United boss when he arrived back at his former club following a four year spell in charge of the Finland national team.

Having netted 47 goals in 133 games as a player at Tannadice between 1987 and 1992, the former Hibernian, Kilmarnock and Cowdenbeath boss was determined to make his mark.

“It feels wonderful,” said Paatelainen as he was appointed on a three-year deal.

“Obviously this club is special to me – it was my first club abroad as a player. I have fond memories.”

However, things turned sour as United after an injury-time Craig Wighton goal earned Dundee the derby win that relegated their neighbours on May 2nd, 2016.

Mixu’s departure was confirmed just two days later.

Record: P30, W8, D5, L17

Win ratio: 26.7%

Ray McKinnon (May 2016 to October 2017)

Ray McKinnon was at the Tannadice helm for 17 months

McKinnon succeeded Paatelainen after quitting Raith Rovers to return to his boyhood club.

“This is a wonderful opportunity at a club that is close to my heart,” McKinnon said on his arrival.

He tasted success when he lifted the 2017 Scottish Challenge Cup with a 2-1 win over St Mirren and qualified for the Scottish Premiership play-offs.

However, after losing out to Hamilton, the writing was on the wall for McKinnon’s managerial reign and after a poor start to the new season he was fired in October 2017.

“It been an honour and a privilege to play for and then manage my hometown club that I have supported all my life,” McKinnon said.

Record: P73 W38 D16 L19

Win ratio: 52.1%

Csaba Laszlo (November 2017 to September 2018)

Csaba Laszlo was in charge of Dundee United for ten months

Former Hearts boss Laszlo was a surprise appointment in November 2017 but his colourful CV and his contacts in European football convinced United to go down a different road.

“I was enthusiastic and passionate about this job,” said Laszlo as he was appointed.

“I’m here to show I’m the right manager of Dundee United.”

A popular figure with the fans due to his animated touchline antics, Romanian-born Laszlo couldn’t find a way to steer United back into the top flight – losing a crucial play-off with Livingston.

He parted ways with United in September 2018, following a 5-1 home defeat to Ross County.

Record: P45 W18 D13 L14

Win ratio: 40%

Robbie Neilson (October 2018 to June 2020)

Robbie Neilson left Dundee United to return to Hearts after winning the Championship title in 2020

Neilson arrived with an impressive managerial CV at Hearts and MK Dons. He won the Championship at Hearts and took them to third in the Scottish Premiership before his move down south.

His objective at Dundee United was clear – to take them back into the top-flight
Despite losing out to St Mirren in the play-off final in his first year, Neilson was given time to build his squad and he led them to the Scottish Championship in 2020.

However, with the season curtailed due to Covid-19, Neilson stunned the Tannadice club by quitting for a return to Hearts.

Record: P70 W40 D16 L14

Win ratio: 57.1%

Micky Mellon (July 2020 to May 2021)

Micky Mellon’s reign at United came to an abrupt end yesterday after just ten months in charge

Mellon was a left-field appointment by United as they tried to go down a different road.

He has vast experience of lower league football in England and is widely respected down south, having led Tranmere Rovers to two promotions.

Mellon’s objective at the start of the season was to try and keep United in the Scottish Premiership and he guided them to ninth spot and the Scottish Cup semi-final.

He also blooded a number of young players from the much-vaunted United youth academy but Mellon’s playing style attracted criticism from some quarters and an early parting of ways – despite his relative success – always seemed inevitable.

Record: P46 W15 D15 L16

Win ratio: 32.6%

Micky Mellon has left Dundee United