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Tony Asghar insists his ‘door is always open’ to unhappy Dundee United fans

Tony Asghar has told Dundee United fans they can vent at him (Steve Welsh/PA)
Tony Asghar has told Dundee United fans they can vent at him (Steve Welsh/PA)

Under-fire sporting director Tony Asghar has told angry Dundee United fans his door is always open if they want to discuss club matters with him.

The Tannadice side are currently bottom of the cinch Premiership and there have been ‘Asghar out’ banners at their last two matches in protest at what his critics feel is poor running of the football department.

“We have some very good players here and some very good people,” Asghar said in an interview with Dundee United TV. “I would say to the supporters vent all you want at me, I’m a big boy, but I want the best for the club.

“I hurt just as much as they do. The team’s bottom of the league so I can understand the fans’ frustrations. I do think sometimes we have to understand where we are as a team. We’ve had some very good performances since the World Cup and we have a load of very good players.

“It’s always disappointing when someone’s putting your name on a banner but if I’m the problem then it’s keeping it (the abuse) away from everyone else at the club. I take it on the chin. It gives me a challenge to try and get things right. My door is always open for anyone who wants to come in and ask what we’re doing.”

United fans were left frustrated that they failed to make a January signing despite being bottom of the table, but Asghar explained that the players they wanted proved just out of reach and they were unwilling to add other clubs’ cast-offs for the sake of it.

“Nobody’s more disappointed at how we came out the window than myself,” he said. “We were hoping to try and recruit, we looked at a number of possibilities.

“We’re a different level of club now where we’re trying to sign targets who are potentially on a financial scale we can’t reach. There are other clubs in competition with us.

“The players we used to pick up in January windows were free agents who teams traditionally didn’t want but now we’re going for players who other teams want.”

Asghar also defended the decision to promote Liam Fox from assistant to manager in September following the sacking of Jack Ross.

“I think it’s a cheap thing to say,” said Asghar, when it was put to him that many felt it was the “easy option” to appoint Fox. “I think the same thing was said when Tam Courts became the manager, that it was the easy option.

“Obviously Liam was not expected to get the job but when we built a squad of players in the eyes of the manager who brought them (Jack Ross), and we had one of the coaching staff who understands who they are and it doesn’t need radical change, I think that’s a smarter move than having a new manager come in who wants to empty 10 players out in January to get 10 of their own players in. That’s not workable.

“One of the big things we have here is succession planning and with Foxy and Stevie Crawford, Dave Bowman and Charlie Mulgrew, we’re trying to have a more sustainable viewpoint.

“You look at Foxy’s CV, yes he’s not managed before, but he’s been on the coaching staff for two top-six finishes at the last two clubs he’s been at in Livingston and Dundee United. So for me if you want someone with experience of where we’re going, that’s Foxy.”