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Jackie McNamara to address Dundee United squad imbalance

Dundee Utd manager Jackie McNamara urges his side on from the dugout.
17/03/13 CLYDESDALE BANK PREMIER LEAGUE DUNDEE UTD V DUNDEE (1-1) TANNADICE - DUNDEE Dundee Utd manager Jackie McNamara urges his side on from the dugout.

Dundee United boss Jackie McNamara is set to hold talks with chairman Stephen Thompson to map out the future direction of the club.

The manager has now had time to fully assess his squad since taking over in the Tannadice hot-seat from Peter Houston and he admitted that he is spoilt for choice in some positions while short of bodies in others.

That’s an imbalance he wants to address and McNamara will also discuss with Thompson the futures of stars such as Jon Daly, Barry Douglas and Willo Flood who are all out of contract in the summer.

The boss said: “I will be meeting the chairman later this week. We’ll sit down and speak about budgets for next season.

“We’ll see what we’re going to do about the players who are heading out of contract. I’ve had a good look at the squad, both on the pitch and how they are off it as well.

“I’ve had a chance to work with the players so I have an idea about what I want to take the club forward.

“The balance of the squad needs to be looked at. That was one of the first things we noticed because we’re covered more in some areas than others.

“We’ve picked up a couple of injuries and had to bring players in as emergencies.”

“There could be a turnaround because of the amount of players we have out of contract but it’s the same at every football club these days,” said the manager.

“We’re not in a unique position with that.”

McNamara who left Partick Thistle to take up his post at Tannadice, was linked with apre-contract move for Jags midfielder Paul Paton.

However, that was something he was keen to deny. He said: “I’ve not spoken to anyone about pre-contracts yet. I’m looking to get the games out of the way and see what the budget is.

“I wouldn’t want to be speculating about other clubs’ players at this stage.”

The United squad are set to have a few days off over the international break but McNamara wants them raring to go again on their return as they look to secure a top-six finish by winning their remaining games before the split against St Johnstone and Aberdeen.

The manager admits there is a lot resting on the outcome of those two crunch clashes.

He added: “We want to finish in the top six to play in those important games. It’s important financially as well.

“We have two games left and are capable of winning both of them. We’re capable of winning all the games we play in but we’ve not been and that’s where we are. But we’ve looked solid.”

The squad were nursing a few knocks at their St Andrews training base following a bruising derby encounter with Dundee at Tannadice on Sunday.

Gary Mackay-Steven and Stuart Armstrong, who were both on the receiving end of tough challenges from the Dark Blues, were able to link up with the full Scotland squad and the under-21s respectively.

McNamara said: “We picked up a few knocks but that’s no surprise after watching the game again.

“There were a few challenges in the first half but that’s what happens in football sometimes. Gary and Stuart were both OK and they have joined up with the national team squads.

“I just told Gary to go away and enjoy it. It’s a great experience, he’s good enough to be there and hopefully it’s the first of many Scotland squads he’s involved in.

“He’s got everything you need and, from a defender’s point of view, he must be a nightmare to play against.”

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