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JIM SPENCE: Tam Courts deserves Dundee United fans’ respect – both as a man and a manager

Dundee United boss Tam Courts
Dundee United boss Tam Courts

Some Dundee United fans just can’t warm to manager Tam Courts.

Complaints about United’s lack of goals and entertainment value are persistent and he seems to antagonise some supporters, despite a top six finish and a European spot in view.

One fan said to me last week if I’d told him ten years ago United would have a former junior manager in charge he’d have laughed.

Tam Courts has Dundee United challenging for Europe

But football has plenty of bosses who’ve played at or managed at a lower level – or indeed have played at no great level at all – and have done well.

For his first season in charge, Courts has performed admirably.

It’s early days for him in top flight management.

It would be more beneficial to the team to support the man and respect the job he’s done to date.


Dundee owner Tim Keyes (L) and managing director John Nelms watch the Dark Blues against St Johnstone

A former senior figure at Dens Park asked me last week why I thought American owner Tim Keyes was at the club.

I’ve never really grasped why foreign owners want to buy into a Scottish club where profit is as hard to achieve as climbing Mount Everest in slippers.

Dundee are Championship-bound, barring a Lazarus-like recovery and an implosion by teams around them.

Meantime, as every consumer knows, prices are rising quicker than Cristian Ronaldo going up for a high ball in his prime.

‘Very sceptical’

With the cost of building materials rising rapidly, costs for new stadia are likely to be up by around 20%, with possible further inflation to follow.

It could take two-to-three years for all of this to balance out financially, so the proposed timescale of Dundee’s long proposed move to a new-build stadium in Camperdown – never mind the minefield of planning and traffic management problems likely to be encountered – suggests that if it ever does happen, and colour me very sceptical as to it ever going ahead, it’s likely to be a very long way down the line.


St Johnstone fans have backed their side impressively all season

St Johnstone’s eight points from their last six games have given them a decent chance of avoiding the play-off place.

If they can harness the spirit and commitment of recent weeks in their final four games, Premiership football is on the cards at McDiarmid Park next season.

Big characters and strong personalities are needed and much has rightly been written about Sean Rooney’s huge contribution to Saints in that regard.

Now he and his teammates must find the resolve required to beat St Mirren, narrow the gap on the Paisley side to two points and put the wind up the Buddies and also Aberdeen who, if they fail to beat Dundee, are also bang in the relegation mix.

Shaun Rooney celebrates his equaliser against Dundee

I’ve never seen a fan score a goal, but the phenomenal encouragement at Dens last Saturday from the 2000 travelling fans must’ve lifted Saints from a goal down to gain a precious draw.

The Bob Shankly stand was bouncing.

I was parked a long way away and the noisy Saints support was echoing in my ears all the way to Dens.

Saints get unfair stick for lack of backing, but if they do lack numbers they’re making up for that in passion.

4 steps Dundee chiefs must go through to get new stadium approved

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