Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Liam Fox lifts lid on wounding Cowdenbeath experience and the Tannadice ‘project’ that sold him on Dundee United

Dundee United assistant manager Liam Fox.
Dundee United assistant manager Liam Fox.

When Dundee United signalled their desire to get an experienced man in to assist new head coach Thomas Courts, not many would have pictured a 37-year-old.

However, given what Liam Fox has gone through in the game, you’d struggle to find many people more suited to the role.

The United No 2 has coached at Hearts and most recently under David Martindale at Livingston, after a playing career that earned him legend status in West Lothian.

Who is Liam Fox? The new Dundee United No 2, his playing days and coaching pedigree in Scottish game explained

The former midfielder also took charge of Cowdenbeath for the 2016-17 season.

Although his time with the Blue Brazil didn’t exactly go to plan, with Fox leaving the club languishing at the bottom of League Two, he learned a lot from his time at Central Park.

Lessons he hopes to carry into his new position with the Tangerines.

Fox ran before he could walk

“Cowdenbeath was probably the best thing that happened to me,” Fox said.

“I probably started to try to run before I could walk and learned a massive amount from that process.

“I went back and had to lick my wounds a wee bit. I learned a lot of lessons that have helped me get to this point.

“I was at Hearts for a number of years with some really good people, staff and players.

“Then Davie gave me the opportunity to go to Livingston last year and, again, that was great.

“It was another part of my development, another part of my learning and to have a successful season there was really good.

“I’ll always be grateful to Davie for that opportunity but I just felt this one (joining United) was the right move.”

Difficult world of football management

Reflecting further on his time with the Fife club, Fox admits it would’ve been easy to feel sorry for himself and become disillusioned with football.

However, he battled back, working under the likes of Craig Levein and Daniel Stendel at Tynecastle as both a first-team coach and reserves boss.

Last term, he played his part in a successful season for Livi, helping the club secure a top-six finish and contest the Betfred Cup Final.

He’s rebuilt himself and is ready for a new challenge.

Liam Fox previously managed Cowdenbeath.

Asked what lessons he learned with Cowden, Fox was frank, as he said: “How difficult football management is!

“There’s loads of different things I learned – how I behaved, some of the demands I put on people – it was just a really tough learning environment.

“We didn’t win enough games and it didn’t end particularly well but I had a choice.

“I could’ve felt sorry for myself and I almost thought: ‘I’m not doing that again’.

“But I went back and had to re-build my confidence a wee bit and find myself and be more ready.”

New No 2 is here to help

Fox now feels better equipped to assist after being a gaffer in his own right.

That kind of lived experience is something Courts, relatively untried at Premiership level, will be looking for.

His right-hand man, he assures, is ready to deliver at the highest level.

Fox continued: “One thing I need to say here is Cowdenbeath are a totally different level from Dundee United – who are a far, far bigger club.

Dundee United boss Tam Courts.

“The feelings you get when you’re a manager are the same, though.

“You always want your team to do well and win. You carry the responsibility of that.

“Things will crop up in the future – we’re going to lose games and have bad spells but nobody is hiding away from that or expecting anything different.

“I can, hopefully, use my experience to help.

“It’s about being honest enough to reflect on things and realise where you’ve made mistakes and evaluate where you could’ve done things a wee bit better.”

Asghar and Courts sold Fox on United

Looking ahead to the new term, Fox is enjoying working with the Terrors stars, now back in pre-season training, and revealed what persuaded him to join the club.

There were other offers on the table, notably from top-flight rivals Hibs, but, once he heard the pitch from Courts and sporting director Tony Asghar, there was only one place for him.

“I think it’s just the project that Tam and Tony had put in front of me and the responsibility they were going to give me (that convinced him to join),” Fox commented.

“That was important for me and I feel I’m ready for that at this stage of my career.

Dundee United sporting director Tony Asghar.

“It’s up to me now to take a hold of it and try to improve everything at the club, alongside the manager.

“I’ve been really impressed by how he works.

“I spoke to Tam a couple of times before I got the job.

“I had quite a clear idea of where he saw the club going and what he needed me to do.

“The relationship will grow and develop over time and that’s just the process.”

EXCLUSIVE: ‘I’ve been blown away’ – Dundee United defender Mark Connolly hails new boss Tam Courts and targets St Johnstone-esque success

Already a subscriber? Sign in