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GORDON CHISHOLM reckons Jackie McNamara is under pressure at Dundee United because he has been forced to promote kids into the first team too early.

Former Tannadice boss Chisholm knows all about the expectations at the club - he was axed just seven months after leading them to the 2005 Scottish Cup Final.

So he can understand why some fans are calling for McNamara's head after just seven wins in their last 27 league games.

But the 55-year-old insists they should cut the boss some slack after losing his three best players to Celtic.

Stuart Armstrong, Gary Mackay-Steven and Nadir Ciftci played key roles in the first half of last season as United reached the League Cup Final and challenged near the top of the Premiership.

But the January sales of GMS and Armstrong to the Hoops led to a slump in form and that has continued following Ciftci's summer move to Parkhead.

With cash tight McNamara put his faith in youth, handing the likes of Scott Fraser and Simon Murray first-team chances. Chisholm though reckons they may have been promoted a year too early.

He said: "United lost their three best attackers when Armstrong, GMS and Ciftci left. Any team would struggle to cope with that and Jackie has had to bring youngsters in to try to replace them.

"However, they are being asked to replace the experience and quality of those three. It is a big ask.

"Don't get me wrong the youngsters are talented but kids need time to settle in the team and need experienced players round about them.

"Jackie hasn't been able to replace like for like. That's partly to do with the fact United have a limited budget which in turn has led to promoting younger players.

"Some of the kids may have been earmarked for the first team in a year's time but they have been throw in at the deep end now."

Saturday's 2-1 defeat by Kilmarnock at home left United second bottom of the table and Chisholm knows that isn't good enough for a club of their stature.

He said: "Managers live and die by their results regardless of injuries to key players or how many you have sold.

"The fans are not used to seeing the team lying second bottom. They are used to them being in the top six and challenging for honours.

"If it is not happening on the park sections of support will always say, 'Get the manager out'."

The punters may be up in arms but former United striker Mixu Paatelainen reckons McNamara can get them back on side with a run of wins.

The Finland boss said: "If results go against you every manager is under pressure. Jackie can use the recent criticism to motivate himself and the team.

"He built a fantastic team when he first went to the club and gave some kids their first-team chance. They are not playing all that badly but just can't seem to put the ball in the net.

"There is plenty of time for Jackie and his backroom staff to do something about it."

Jackie's not rock bottom PREMIERSHIP managers' stats since Jan 1, 2015.

Ronny Deila (Celtic) P27 W22 D3 L2 Win percentage 81% Derek McInnes (Aberdeen) P26 W17 D5 L4 65% Jim McIntyre (Ross Co) P27 W13 D6 L8 48% John Hughes (Inverness) P27 W10 D9 L8 37% Tommy Wright (St Johnstone) P27 W9 D9 L9 33% Martin Canning (Hamilton) P26 W8 D6 L12 31% Ian Baraclough (Motherwell) P27 W7 D5 L15 26% Jackie McNamara (Dundee Utd) P27 W7 D5 L15 26% Alan Archibald (Partick Th) P27 W7 D7 L13 26% Gary Locke (Kilmarnock) P27 W4 D7 L16 15%


NO OPTION McNamara's hand has been forced as regards his young players

and UNITED FRONT Fraser, Chisholm and Murray
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Sep 15, 2015
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