Jackie McNamara ‘manages last game at Dundee United’

Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara met with chairman Stephen Thompson immediately after the defeat by St Johnstone.  Picture: SNS

Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara met with chairman Stephen Thompson immediately after the defeat by St Johnstone. Picture: SNS

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JACKIE McNamara has managed his final game for Dundee United, it is understood.

United have declined to comment on reports that McNamara has been told his time at Tannadice is up, after 10-man St Johnstone came from a goal down to win the Tayside derby at McDiarmid Park.

But it is understood that McNamara’s departure will be confirmed once the formalities of his contract termination and compensation agreement have been completed.

McNamara sent assistant Simon Donnelly to speak to the press after his side’s 2-1 defeat, which left them in 11th place in the Ladbrokes Premiership with five points from nine matches.

The former Celtic and Scotland player held discussions with chairman Stephen Thompson instead and more will follow but United will soon be looking for a new boss.

Former Partick Thistle manager McNamara has led United to three top-six places and two cup finals since taking over in January 2013, although a place in Europe and silverware has eluded them.

But they have struggled this year amid the sales of key players Gary Mackay-Steven, Stuart Armstrong and Nadir Ciftci to Celtic.

Since the sale of the first two at the end of the winter transfer window, United have only won four out of 24 league games.

The club expected better results after giving McNamara money to rebuild his squad in the summer, which saw him bring in the likes of Billy Mckay, Darko Bodul, Coll Donaldson and Mark Durnan.

They are believed to have the fourth highest playing budget in the top flight and have given the manager more money to spend than previous managers.

Yet there is no sign of imminent improvement following their worst start to a season for 12 years.

United fans vented their frustration towards McNamara in Perth and Donnelly admitted there was growing pressure.

Speaking immediately after the game about the criticism, Donnelly said: “I’ve been lucky enough not to experience too much of it on the coaching side, but that’s football.

“You can understand the fans are frustrated. We’re frustrated, we need to win games, and it’s part and parcel of the game.

“Of course I’m feeling it for Jackie. We’re a team, the four of us are a team with the boys. We’re a close-knit unit.

“It’s criminal what we’ve done today. We’re 1-0 up and they’re down to 10 men. We should be going and getting the second and third goal and putting the game to bed.”

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