Ross County 2-1 Dundee Utd: Judge me on whole record - McNamara

By Scott DavieBBC Scotland at Victoria Park, Dingwall
United coaches Darren Jackson and Simon Donnelly look just as dejected as manager Jackie McNamara
United coaches Darren Jackson and Simon Donnelly look just as dejected as manager Jackie McNamara

Jackie McNamara insists he should be judged on what he has done since taking over as Dundee United manager and not on this year's results alone.

A 2-1 defeat at Dingwall means the Terrors have made their worst start to any league campaign since Ian McCall was in charge 12 years ago.

"People look at records but you look at things as a whole, not just the last few months," he said.

"We are disappointed to lose but this is a new season. This is a new team. "

United have now picked up only 15 points from the last 63 available going back to January when the club started selling some of their top talent to Celtic.

Those statistics make for grim reading but McNamara remains defiantly optimistic about his plans to revive the team he took over two and a half years ago.

Poor defending from corners in the first half saw Ross County race into a two-goal interval lead courtesy of a Liam Boyce penalty and captain Andrew Davies's first goal for the Staggies.

Liam Boyce is surrounded by team-mates after scoring for Ross County
Liam Boyce is surrounded by team-mates after scoring for Ross County

However, the under-pressure Dundee United manager was encouraged by the fighting spirit shown by his men after the interval and feels they should have taken something tangible from it.

All they got was the consolation of a fabulous long-range effort from Sean Dillon but McNamara is convinced the critics should look at the bigger picture when judging him.

He told BBC Scotland: "We look at what has happened here over the last two and half years and not just more recently.

"It was disappointing not to get anything from the game but I believe that we are close to getting it right."

Part of that rebuilding process was the addition of Billy McKay on a season-long loan from English League One club Wigan Athletic.

The hope is the man who scored 62 goals in 141 games for Inverness Caley Thistle can be just as prolific at Tannadice.

But McNamara points out the Northern Ireland international showed he can offer much more than that to the team after an impressive first start for the club.

Scott Fox closes down United striker Billy McKay
Ross County keeper Scott Fox closes down United striker Billy McKay

He added: "I was delighted with Billy McKay as he showed for some great runs and held the ball up well for us as well.

"He's going to be a really good player for us as he showed real awareness in the way he put Ryan Dow clear a couple of times."

While McKay's lack of first-team action means he is not in Michael O'Neill's Northern Ireland squad, Ross County scorer Boyce was chosen by O'Neill for the Euro qualifiers away to Cyprus and at home to Hungary.

Boyce's penalty made it five goals in the last four games and Staggies manager Jim McIntyre could not be more thrilled to see his side get international recognition.

McIntyre said: "I'm delighted for Liam as he works ever so hard for the team.

"He's in great shape right now and he really puts in a shift to help us get results and score goals himself.

"Wherever he's been he's scored goals and it's great that Jackson Irvine is also going away with the Australian national team.

"We have got good players here who are producing good results and performances and international managers will be taking note."

Irvine faces an arduous time as he heads back to Australia to face Bangladesh before travelling to Tajikistan for their second match.

When he returns it will be to a club side who have as many points now as they did by 27 December last season and his club manager admits that is a major plus.

He said: "It's huge to these points on board so early in the season as obviously we have started this season much better than the last one.

"Now the aim is to continue that and we want to make sure that Dingwall is a hard place for any team to come to."

Both McNamara and McIntyre are working hard to try to add players to their squad before the transfer window closes.

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