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Loan deal spot on for Conor Townsend

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Conor Townsend reckons he has become a better player since swapping Hull City for Dundee United thanks to Jackie McNamara.

Townsend was loaned to United in the summer as part of Andy Robertson’s £3-million switch from Tannadice to the KC Stadium.

After being forced to sit out all of September and most of October with a foot injury, Townsend has now made the United left-back slot his own.

And the 21-year-old believes the influence of United gaffer and former full-back Jackie McNamara has been the key to his development.

He said: “The gaffer is the best I’ve worked under in all my loan spells. The way he goes about things, the way he deals with players, for me, it’s really good.

“There’s a mutual respect. I think all the players would say that and I think that’s important.

“Managers I have worked under in the past have maybe been a bit harsh, especially with young players.

“You do need a roasting sometimes, but sometimes you need an arm around you and I think the gaffer’s man-management is really good.

“I think he’s improved me as a player. He was a full-back himself so everything he says I’m trying to listen to it.”

While Townsend is enjoying life at Tannadice, his predecessor, Robertson, has become a Premier League stalwart at Hull City.

Under the circumstances, the Hull born-and-bred defender could be forgiven for harbouring a grudge towards the man he replaced at United.

Instead, Townsend appears to be genuinely delighted for Robertson, with whom he has already struck up a friendship.

He said: “Andy has done really well, he’s deserved where he’s got to, so it’s a great example for me.

“I was injured for a while early in the season and went back to Hull for the recovery. He was injured too for a little bit, so I got to know him really well.

“He’s a lovely guy, he was up at our game last weekend. He’s done really well for himself and there are no hard feelings.”