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. 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. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

The highs and lows of Tam Courts’ 372 days in charge of Dundee United

Departed: Courts
Departed: Courts

Dundee United are on the hunt for a new manager for a third successive year.

Fresh from guiding the Tangerines back to Europe in his maiden campaign as United boss, Tam Courts left the club by mutual consent on Tuesday afternoon.

Jack Ross is the man Tannadice chiefs have identified to take his place in the dugout, while Courts is weighing up options in England and with Budapest Honved.

Here, Courier Sport looks at the highs and lows from Courts sole, eventful season in charge of the Terrors.

Courts takes the top job

Courts’ ascension to the Tannadice hot-seat was an undoubted high for the ambitious coach; a massive step up from his position as head of tactical performance at United. A calculated gamble from the club.

However, it was no without its challenges.

Tam Courts gradually won over some doubters

His appointment was met with doubt, cynicism and, in some quarters, seethe.

Courts, whose previous experience as a manager came in the South of Scotland League with Kelty Hearts, was forced to navigate a gauntlet of publicity and online barbs.

The proof, ultimately, would be in the pudding.

Dundee United 1-0 Rangers

Fresh from a meek, impotent 2-0 defeat in their Premiership opener at Aberdeen, United needed a performance against the reigning champions of Scotland.

No small task.

Rangers were 40 games unbeaten in the league when they arrived at Tannadice.

What followed was a resolute, combative, stirring 1-0 victory. Jamie Robson notched the only goal of the game in the splitting sunshine, sending the 4,600 supporters to delirium.

Although plenty of Courts-sceptics remained — and would remain until the day he walked away from the club — this result underlined his ability as a tactician and motivator, while providing the catalyst to a fine start to the season.

Easter Road spectacle

Perhaps United’s most impressive showing under Courts came against Hibernian. Indeed, against the man who is likely to replace him at United, Ross.

The visitors were composed, well-drilled and devastating on the counter-attack. Goals from Nicky Clark, Kieran Freeman and Ryan Edwards secured a 3-0 win in front of a raucous, colourful away support.

Latterly, United’s campaign would be characterised by stoic defensive showings, grinding out results and narrowly getting the job done when it mattered (despite finishing fourth, they would end the season with a goal difference of -7).

However, on their day, Courts’ charges could play.

Derby day rollercoasters

Following a year of soulless, lamentable football in empty stadiums, United’s 1-0 victory over Dundee was an occasion to relish.

As Ian Harkes rattled home the only goal of the game in September, Tannadice erupted and Courts had his first win over the Dee — always a notable achievement for any Tangerines gaffer.

It would prove to be his only one.

Clark celebrates finding the net in April’s 2-2 draw with Dundee

The sides played out a dire 0-0 draw in February, while United should have run up a comfortable triumph at Tannadice in April.

Instead, they threw away a 2-0 lead in the space of two minutes to draw 2-2 with the dark Blues; a share of the spoils which felt like a defeat.

Questions asked

Courts’ toughest spell as United boss came during a winter of discontent.

The Tannadice side endured eight defeats in 10 fixtures. They scored just six goals in that period.

Jeando Fuchs’ form was patchy (he would leave for Peterborough in January), Dylan Levitt struggled for fitness, Lawrence Shankland had been sold.

Selection options were thin on the ground; attacking inspiration was non-existent.

Courts endured a testing winter

It is to Courts’ credit that he lifted United out of that malaise, particularly given he would be without the likes of Calum Butcher, Max Biamou, Ian Harkes, Peter Pawlett and Marc McNulty as the campaign progressed.

Cup disappointments

Taking the Tangerines back to Hampden will be among Ross’ key aims, should he succeed Courts, particularly after a disappointing campaign in the cups.

While Ross’ record in finals, whether north or south of the border, is disappointing — lets not sugar-coat that — his ability to actually reach showpiece occasions should be a source of optimism.

Ironically, it was Ross’ Hibs that dumped United out of the Premier Sports Cup last term, claiming a 3-1 win at Tannadice despite the hosts dominating large swathes of the contest. Courts’ men paid the price for a sloppy, porous start.

Georgios Giakoumakis found the net against United in the Scottish Cup

United would exit the Scottish Cup at the hands of Celtic. No shame in that, in theory. However, the 3-0 home reverse was rather toothless and, particularly compared to the 1-1 draw between the sides on May 11, not a good reflection on the Terrors’ capabilities.

Results when it mattered

Did United benefit from a weak Premiership? Undoubtedly. Did the dire campaigns endured by Hibs and Aberdeen aid their push for fourth? Certainly.

However, the bottom line is that, for all their stodgy football and mixed results from winter onwards, the Terrors got the job done when it mattered.

Victories over Motherwell in February and April, a breathless, thrilling 2-1 triumph at St Mirren — secured courtesy of a 96th-minute Marc McNulty goal. Key draws against Celtic, Rangers and Hearts. All were pivotal wins when the pressure was on.

An unforgettable Highland fling

Amid a sea of Tangerine, beach balls and sombreros, Courts posed for selfies with giddy United fans ahead of their clash with Ross County. Quite the turnaround from the mixed reaction to his appointment.

European football was already assured prior to United’s final Premiership match of the season, however they had to better Motherwell’s result at Celtic Park (they would lose 6-0) to seal fourth spot.

A dramatic Nicky Clark winner secured a 2-1 triumph. Cue bedlam. Flares, pitch invasions; a spontaneous outburst of joy and catharsis. A truly soaring high to conclude the campaign.

Little did anyone know that unforgettable afternoon in the Highlands would be Courts’ final match.