Dundee & Dundee United's plight 'sad' for city, says Jim McInally

Dundee United celebrate winning the Scottish Cup in 1994
Jim McInally (far right) helped Dundee United win the Scottish Cup 25 years ago

Jim McInally says Dundee and Dundee United's absence from the Scottish Premiership is "not healthy for the city".

Peterhead boss McInally, 55, had two spells as a player at each club and won the Scottish Cup with United.

Next term, the Tayside rivals will both be in the second tier for the first time since season 1995-96.

"It's unlikely that both teams will go up," McInally said after United lost the Premiership play-off final.

"One of them might go up, but I certainly think United won't get a bigger chance than they got yesterday.

"It's sad. The city doesn't need, certainly, both teams in the Championship and, with the support and the potential of both clubs, they should be in the Premiership.

"The local businesses, the pubs, the takeaways. Celtic and Rangers and Aberdeen coming for games, I'm sure supporters buses go to different social clubs. It's a big loss and it's not healthy for the city."

Dundee finished bottom of the Premiership, while United lost to St Mirren on penalties in Sunday's play-off final.

The Dens Park club are without a manager following Jim McIntyre's departure and former Celtic and Scotland boss Gordon Strachan has held talks about taking on an advisory role.

McInally believes Strachan's arrival could be a "fantastic idea" if the new boss is agreeable to such a set-up and says both clubs need to exhibit more "patience" with their managers.

Robbie Neilson took over at United in October - the club's third manager in three years.

"One thing would be the consistency of the way they change managers, constantly - both clubs," McInally said.

"They need to give them time to do the job and let them try and see something through. But it seems to be, as soon as the supporters make their mind up, that it's time for somebody to go then they go."

'Sorry' Pawlett 'absolutely devastated'

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'Dundee United will be back'

Peter Pawlett is "absolutely devastated" but is confident Dundee United will make up next season for their failure to reach the Premiership.

The 28-year-old midfielder had a penalty saved as St Mirren beat United in a shoot-out after a 1-1 draw on aggregate in their play-off final.

"It is awful," he told his club website. "It is the lowest point of my career. It is bitterly disappointing.

"But we are more than confident in each other that we can do it next season."

Pawlett, who moved to Tannadice from MK Dons in January, helped United finish runners-up to Ross County in the Championship and reach the play-off final by beating Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

Asked what he could say to the United fans, the former Aberdeen midfielder said: "Apologies really.

"We will go again next season and hopefully we can get automatic promotion.

"It is hard to look at the positives just now, but everyone will get their rest in the summer, a good pre-season under our belts and hopefully we can hit the ground running and hopefully it will be our season next season."

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