Tony Asghar insists he’s not had his ego bruised after losing three Dundee United bosses in as many seasons. But the Tangerines chief believes new gaffer Jack Ross can swell the sense of self-esteem floating around Tannadice even further.
In fact, he reckons Ross is a level above his recent predecessors. Terrors sporting director Asghar has been forced to go on the hunt again after seeing Robbie Neilson, Micky Mellon and Tam Courts all quit the club of their own accord in quick succession.
Former United stalwart Steven Pressley claimed last week that rapid turnover of managers was a sign something is “not quite right” at his old club. But Asghar insists that each man had their own specific reasons for leaving the club as he pointed out their sudden departures have done nothing to derail the upward curve that has taken United back into Europe for the first time in a decade.
He said: “I don’t take it personally. It’s indicative of the way football is now. Everybody’s looking for their next move. The role of a sporting director is to keep that structure in place to allow a manager to come in, adapt slightly and make us better.
“It shouldn’t really affect things if someone else leaves their job. Everyone who has left the football club has left on good terms and hopefully Jack will be a longer stay. It’s challenging for me. I’m the common denominator. I’m the one that stays. The club has to try and get a bit of sustained success.
“That means managers will come and sometimes do so well that someone else will take them. We have to bring someone else in to take it to the next level. Two managers who left were head-hunted by other clubs and another came through a real tough Covid time and wanted to move the family back down south.
“Now we are at the stage where Jack is the ideal candidate to take us to the next level for a bit longer. He’s looking at the club and saying we’re really positive but we believe he can take us to an extra dimension. No disrespect to what we’ve had before, the guys have done their specific roles, but Jack’s on a different level for Dundee United.”
Courts quit earlier this month to take up a surprise job at Hungarians Hoved and it’s no shock to Ashgar that the rookie boss attracted interest abroad. He said: “Tam got us into the top four and got us out of the League Cup group section which we’d never done before. He achieved a lot of things.
“We’re here to develop people as well as players. I’m not surprised people were coming in for him. There was interest from England as well and people would ask questions of me. Tam made a decision to talk to a few clubs and made the decision to go and take his career into European football. Good luck to him.”