New boss Micky Mellon says he couldn’t turn down the opportunity to manage a ‘fantastic club’ like Dundee United.
Mellon signed a two-year deal at Tannadice on Monday after United paid Tranmere Rovers compensation for his services.
In a farewell message to Tranmere supporters, gaffer Mellon admitted the draw of returning home to Scotland was too big.
The former Fleetwood Town and Shrewsbury manager also believes the challenge of replacing Robbie Neilson, who departed for Hearts last month, is something ‘really special’ for him to take on.
The 48-year-old said: “I need people to understand how big a decision it was for me because I think anybody who knows me, knows what a fantastic time I had at Tranmere, how much I loved and enjoyed it there.
“I just felt the opportunity came to do something I’ve always wanted to do and that’s manage in Scotland and be up among my family and at a fantastic club like Dundee United.
“It was going to be something that made me think. It was going to take something really special for me to want to take it on.
“That doesn’t make my feelings for Tranmere in any way any different. It’ll always be a special place for me and it’ll always be the one of the first results I look for.
“I had such a great time and it’ll certainly be somewhere I miss very much.”
After a rigorous search, which saw the Tangerines court the likes of Tommy Wright, Steve McClaren and Malky Mackay, Mellon’s appointment has been met with widespread approval by supporters.
United fans’ group ArabTRUST say they are delighted to have the Scot in the manager’s office next season, believing the club are once again on a sound footing.
In a statement they said: “ArabTRUST is delighted with the appointment of Micky Mellon as first-team manager of Dundee United.
“There are many reasons to be optimistic as a Dundee United supporter at this moment in time – Arabs are returning to back the club in droves, we have a fantastic infrastructure, heritage and supportive American ownership that has a track record of investment in United.
“We also have many fine young players making the break through into our first team.”
The group, founded in 2003, is one of the largest shareholders in the club. It works closely with United in youth development and many other community initiatives.
Stuart Campbell sits on the Tannadice board as associate director representing ArabTRUST and the fans in general.
He was impressed by the quality of person applying for the manager’s role but insists Mellon was the standout candidate.
“I am delighted that Micky has agreed to become first-team manager at Dundee United,” he said.
“From a long list of impressive applications, he was the outstanding candidate.
“We look forward to an exciting season ahead with Micky at the helm and can only hope that Arabs will be given the green light to fill Tannadice soon to roar on the team.”
ArabTRUST chair, Susan Batten, added: “The conditions are in place for Micky Mellon to succeed and all Arabs will be desperate for him to do so – he will receive our full backing.”