McInnes: Jackie McNamara deserves better from fans

ABERDEEN manager Derek McInnes has warned Dundee United supporters to be “careful what they wish for” as he told them to lay off boss Jackie McNamara.

Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara. Picture: John Devlin
Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara. Picture: John Devlin

McNamara and the Taysiders board have faced a furious backlash after they were forced to reveal the former Celtic defender profits from the sale of the club’s players.

United insist that in return for taking a reduced basic salary, the Tannadice manager was given a “performance-based contract” which includes bonus payments whenever the club cashes in on its young talent.

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But after making a £6 million profit on the sale of Andrew Robertson to Hull, Ryan Gauld to Sporting Lisbon and both Stuart Armstrong and Gary Mackay-Steven to Celtic, some supporters have questioned McNamara’s role in the transfers.

However, McInnes - whose side take on United at Pittodrie on Saturday - has leapt to his former Old Firm rival’s defence.

The ex-Rangers midfielder told RedTV: “It’s been easy to try and beat Jackie up.

“I know results haven’t be great but I think Jackie has more than proved his worth at Dundee United over the last couple of seasons.

“There’s been a huge improvement in the team and they have a great chance of being in Europe next season. He has taken them to two cup finals.

“You are not trying to tell me that Jackie would not rather have held on to the two players who left for Celtic, who were important to them?

“Of course he would have wanted to keep hold of them and give his side a better chance of being successful.

“Looking from the outside in, people should be careful what they wish for. They have a very good manager there and it’s important he gets treated properly.”

But McInnes did take issue with Celtic boss Ronny Deila’s suggestion that he was playing mind-games when he said the Scottish Premiership title was the Hoops’ to lose.

The Parkhead table leaders were given a fright on Wednesday night when they fell behind to Kilmarnock at home.

But Deila’s troops fought back to claim a 4-1 win which gives them an eight-point lead over second-placed Dons with six games to play.

McInnes said: “I think Ronny was asked if I was playing mind-games and he thought I was. But I wasn’t.

“I was just reiterating what I think to be honest. I think Ronny said himself prior to our game against them that if Aberdeen didn’t win it, our challenge would be over. So now he is saying the challenge isn’t over.

“The fact of the matter is that Celtic are in a very strong position. They have only lost four games all season. They would have to lose three games out of their last six [for Aberdeen to have a chance].

“They have never shown any indication of doing that. We have to accept they are a good side and have shown good form. They have got better as the season has gone on.

“It’s fair to say even if we win all our games - and that’s a big ask - Celtic will still win the league.”