Ex-assistant Gordon Young in contention for Dundee United job

Former Dundee United coach Gordon Young (right) has been linked with the vacant manager’s post at Tannadice.

Former assistant boss Gordon Young as emerged as a contender to take the hotseat at Dundee United.

The 52-year-old was Tangerines No 2 during Mixu Paatelainen’s brief stint as gaffer, one that ended when the club were relegated in early May 2016.

He was made caretaker boss for the final three games of that season, winning two and drawing the other before leaving the club after Ray McKinnon’s appointment as manager.

After a spell out of the game, he’s been working in America as director of coaching at the San Francisco-based Impact Soccer Club.

It’s understood he’s been seriously considered by the United board, who were impressed by the way he handled a difficult situation following Paatelainen’s departure and the quality of work he put in.

Young was also a popular figure in the dressing-room and his work on the training ground earned the respect of senior players.

And while taking over team affairs at Tannadice would be his first job as a manager in his own right, he does have the kind of coaching experience United are looking for.

As well as his spell with them, he was previously first-team coach at Motherwell and for some years now has been regarded as one of the country’s best youth coaches.

He was head of the Motherwell Academy and, before joining United, was International Academy manager at Sheffield United.

One stumbling block in getting him could be his family ties on the other side of the Atlantic.

Part of the reason he took his current post in California was because his son is at university in the US.

At this stage it remains a case he is one of the candidates to succeed Ray McKinnon and the likes of Jim McIntyre and John Hughes also remain in the frame.

One man who’s ruled himself out is former Hibs boss Alan Stubbs. He’s keen to get back into management but has said the United job is not for him.

Meanwhile, although the Tangerines are now working through a list of possible targets for the manager’s job, there’s a strong chance Ray’s No 2 Laurie Ellis will be in charge of the team for Saturday’s game away to Dumbarton.

It’s hoped midfield man Fraser Fyvie, who picked up a knock in the defeat against Inverness Caley, will be fit to take part.