Dundee United: 'No relationships broken', says Jackie McNamara

Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara
Jackie McNamara's side have lost seven of their last eight games

Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara insists there were no bridges needing mended between himself and chairman Stephen Thompson.

United's form has dipped since midfielders Gary Mackay-Steven and Stuart Armstrong were sold to Celtic.

"To be honest, there was nothing broken," said McNamara of his relationship with Thompson.

"The chairman and the board look after the running of the club. My job is looking after the players."

There were strains when the club admitted that McNamara receives bonuses related to transfer fees.

Amid criticism of the club by two supporters groups, United stressed that the manager was not involved in such negotiations.

Sunday's 3-0 defeat by Celtic was United's seventh defeat in eight games and McNamara said his had been "a difficult job" having "inherited all the problems we had".

Midfielder Ryan Gauld was sold to Sporting Lisbon and full-back Andy Robertson to Hull City last summer ahead of the two who left for Celtic in January.

"In an ideal world, we have the lads still here - the four of them we've lost in six months," said McNamara.

"It makes my job harder, but the reason why the club brought me here it is bring in the youths and hopefully develop them and get the club back on a sound footing for the future."

Asked about his own future as manager beyond the summer, McNamara said: "I can't help talk and rumour.

"My focus is always the club and the best interests of the club and I'll continue to do that."

Long-term injuries and suspensions meant that McNamara was forced to field four teenagers against the Premiership leaders.

However, despite the defeat, he said: "There are signs that we're moving in the right way now.

"I was pleased with a lot of things in the first half - how we moved the ball and our energy.

"I thought we were causing problems, but I was disappointed to lose the first goal so soon at the start of the second half.

"One guy was out of position and it was a costly one."

McNamara handed Robbie Muirhead, who was signed from Kilmarnock in January, a first start and the 19-year-old striker forced a good save from goalkeeper Craig Gordon before Celtic's opening goal.

"I thought he was excellent in the first half," added McNamara. "I thought he was a bit isolated in the second half - I don't think we got close enough to him at times.

"But, for his first full start against a quality defence in Celtic and the two guys he was up against, he was causing them problems."

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