Dundee United caretaker boss Laurie Ellis does not want job full-time – but happy to stay on as assistant

Dundee United interim manager Laurie Ellis

Caretaker boss Laurie Ellis is not a candidate to replace close mate Ray McKinnon as Dundee United manager.

But he’ll be delighted if he gets the chance to work with whoever gets the job on a permanent basis.

He’s spent this week lifting the players after Ray’s sacking and making sure they are in the right frame of mind for the trip to Dumbarton.

So far, he’s not looked beyond that game but, when he does, he will not be submitting an application to become team boss in the long term.

Still at a relatively-early stage of his coaching career, the 37-year-old believes he can best serve United in his role as a No 2, though he recognises whether he gets the chance to do that could be down to the new boss.

“I’m not looking beyond this weekend, it’s a hard enough task just now to make sure everything is without any issues leading up to the game,” he said.

“Then beyond Saturday, that will take care of itself.

“But this is a fantastic football club and I love working for it. I really enjoy my job.”

Saddened as he’s been by the week’s events, Laurie has worked tirelessly to make sure the squad is properly prepared.

While he’s described the mood among the players as sombre, he believes they will be 100% focused on the job in hand.

He feels that’s down to the work his now-former boss put in during his time at the club.

“Ray’s assembled a fantastic squad here. Good players, a mixture of experience and youth and there’s pace in the team.

“There’s a real hunger to succeed. Every one of the players who were brought to the club were brought with the sole intention of getting Dundee United back to the Premiership.

“That was there from the first game of the season.

“It’s absolutely still there and we need to make sure it’s there from now to the end of the season to make sure what we intend to achieve we do.

“At the start of the week it was a very low atmosphere in the dressing-room. It was hard to think about football for a day or two.

“But our focus is the weekend and winning. That’s what we’re paid to do.”