Scottish Daily Mail



JACKIE McNAMARA has hit out at ‘vindictive’ rumours which s uggested he was about to quit Dundee United — and reiterated his pledge to bring silverware to Tannadice.

Speaking for the first time since it was claimed he had fallen out with chairman Stephen Thompson, following the transfers of star men Stuart Armstrong and Gary Mackay-Steven to tomorrow’s Scottish Cup opponents Celtic, McNamara (below) insisted he remained as committed to bringing success to the club as when he first took the helm in 2013.

Revealing, however, that gossip about his position on s ocial media had become so bad he had to reassure players about his future, the United boss said: ‘The difference from a few years ago and now is that everyone can have a voice and a say on social media. That can go bananas as we have seen.

‘ One person starts something and it becomes gospel. You then have to speak to players and reassure them they should not believe it unless it is coming from me.

‘ That is the power of social media and that is where we are. Everybody is reactive rather than proactive as regards what they see on social media and forums.

‘To me, it is about us sticking together and remaining focused on football. Players should not believe that stuff because it i s people behind a keyboard and it can be quite vindictive.

‘I don’t read it myself and try not to let it bother me, but I get snippets from other people when things seem to be getting out of control. I then find myself answering questions about what’s happening on the back of that. It is just wasted energy.’

A dramatic dip in form, including three defeats and a draw in United’s past four league games, also led to suggestion­s that all was not well between McNamara and Thompson.

But McNamara said: ‘I had heard stuff after the St Johnstone game as well (when United were beaten 2-0 at home last month). ‘That’s football for you. One bad result and it is the end of the world.

‘The truth is I am no less committed to the club now than I was when I first came in. Nothing will stop me from wanting to progress the club and win something here. It has been negative but we want to be positive.

‘We have a huge game here on Sunday and then we have a League Cup Final to look forward to. That sounds pretty positive to me. There are plenty of reasons why we should be optimistic.’

McNamara was relieved when star striker Nadir Ciftci was cleared to play in tomorrow’s quarter-final clash against Celtic — the first of three consecutiv­e games with the Parkhead side — after the Turk won hi s appeal against a two-match ban for alleged violent conduct against Inverness defender Gary Warren last month.

But he admitted the player has to learn how to ‘ control his aggression’, particular­ly i n major showdowns like the one United face tomorrow.

‘He does feel hard done by and the thing about Nadir is that he is a big, strong lad. So, if he takes a bit and gives a bit back, it looks like retaliatio­n at times,’ said McNamara.

‘But that is part of his learning and he is still a young l ad, having only just turned 23. He has to learn to use his fight and passion the right way. ‘He is happy because that could have been him out f or the whole month of March.

‘We want our best players to be playing and, to me, Nadir on his day is one of the best and most talented players in Scotland. He has it all.’

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