Dundee United director Tony Asghar says ‘slightly different’ men can achieve promotion

© SNSDundee United sporting Director Tony Asghar
Dundee United sporting Director Tony Asghar

New Dundee United sporting director Tony Asghar believes, together with manager Robbie Neilson, they can recruit the right players to deliver promotion from the Championship.

Asghar’s newly-created role comes after he helped millionaire US owner Mark Ogren broker a deal to take the reins at Tannadice and will see him head up the football side of the club, dealing primarily with long-term recruitment, player development and on-pitch performance.

The former police officer, agent and consultant will work closely with United boss Robbie as they aim to return to the Premiership at the third time of asking at the end of the season.

“The first business plan is only in the short term and that goal is to attain promotion,” he said.

“The club itself is a huge club, I think the new owners want to invest in that and get the club back to the Premiership.

“Always when a takeover happens just during the January window it’s a bit frantic but we’re trying to stay calm and assess the squad to bring in new players that fit the long-term recruitment strategy for this club.

“We’ll be taking a deep breath on February 1 after the transfer window has closed but short term we really need to attain promotion. That’s our key aim.”

And Asghar insists they will be looking for a ‘different’ kind of player, assessing their character as well as playing ability.

He added: “We will have a way of trying to identify players and I think you’ve seen over the last few players we’ve brought in, they’re slightly different, slightly younger with the exception of Morgaro Gomis.

“That will be our strategy moving forward, good quality young players who can make this team successful.

“I think with our strategy we’re going to try to take a deep breath, try to assist the head coach and develop our players.

“It doesn’t mean just throwing money at it willy nilly, we have to be strategic and understand the character of the players, which is not done a lot. There are good players that the other managers that have been here have brought in.

“We’ll assess all that, see who is part of what we want going forward, if they’re going to buy into what we’re doing and, hopefully, we’ll have a successful conclusion.”

Although he will help Robbie identify and develop players as sellable assets, it will be the gaffer who will always have the final say on first-team matters.

Asghar added: “I’ll be based at Tannadice, the training ground and part of my remit is also to go and carry out recruitment.

“I’m not going to be at the training ground, standing every day, I wasn’t a professional player or a manager so I don’t think there’s any benefit there.

“I think there is benefit where I can aide small things that are going to help the team going forward.”