Jackie McNamara out to spoil Craig Brown’s send-off

JACKIE McNamara admits he used to sound out Craig Brown for advice – but wants to dash his dream of a winning send-off at Tannadice tomorrow.

The Dundee United manager has loads of admiration for departing Dons boss Brown who is gearing up to take charge of the Reds for the last time in this weekend’s clash with the Tangerines before moving into an upstairs role at Pittodrie.

Former Scotland manager Brown handed 33-times capped McNamara his international debut and when he moved into management at Partick Thistle, the rookie gaffer would have no hesitation in going to the ex-national boss for some trusted tips.

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Brown takes the Dons to Tayside tomorrow for the final pre-split fixture. If Kilmarnock don’t win against Dundee, then whoever wins at Tannadice will get the last top-six place.

McNamara will put their friendship aside. He said: “Craig is a good guy. He’s been a great servant to Scottish Football.

“He was the last manager to take us to the World Cup in France ’98 so he’ll rightly be remembered for that for a long time. His record in management is tremendous and I’ve also been fortunate enough to work under him for Scotland. He gave me my international debut so I have a lot of respect for him.

“When I was at Partick Thistle I spoke to Craig about different things and always got on really well with him. It will be nice to see him again on Saturday but obviously we’ll be looking to get a positive result for ourselves.”

United were hoping for 
St Mirren to do them a favour in their midweek SPL clash with sixth-placed Kilmarnock which ended in a 1-1 stalemate. McNamara insists he opted not to put himself through an emotional roller-coaster as his Arabs side still eye a top-six slot. He said: “It was one of those games. I was sitting watching the Real Madrid game and then I noticed in the end it was a draw.

“There was no point getting over anxious as there was nothing you could do but it means we still have a chance of getting to where we want to be.”

United winger Gary Mackay-Steven remains doubtful with his hamstring injury although McNamara is refusing to rule him out.Defender Brian McLean is out after twisting his knee against St Johnstone on Monday while midfielder Stuart Armstrong is suspended, but midfield playmaker John Rankin returns from suspension.