Appointing Dumbarton manager Steve Aitken to replace McKinnon would be a gamble for Dundee United

Dumbarton manager Steve Aitken

Dundee United’s search for a manager looks certain to extend into next week at least.

That means caretaker boss Laurie Ellis will be in charge when the Tangerines head west to face bogey team Dumbarton on Saturday.

Ellis has been taking training since boss Ray McKinnon was told his time was up last weekend.

Laurie Ellis

And having prepared the team for the weekend, even if a new manager was appointed before Saturday’s game, it’s likely he will be in charge in the dugout.

Right now, the confirmation of a new man’s arrival before the game looks unlikely.

The United board are keen to get someone as soon as possible but also want to make sure they get the right man.

Despite the immediate availability of the likes of Jim McIntyre and John Hughes, they do not want to rush into anything.

Other candidates, like former assistant boss Gordon Young, are under consideration.

He’s now based in America and several other “possibles” are also not Scottish-based.

That’s why it’s likely to be next week, at the earliest, before an appointment is made.

Dumbarton have been a thorn in the side for United since they dropped down to the Championship.

The two visits there last season resulted in shock 1-0 defeat and two of three home games against them have ended in draws.

Those results and the work he’s done in keeping Dumbarton in the Championship have even seen manager Steve Aitken linked to the United vacancy.

Counting against him is the fact he has no experience of managing a full-time team — before Dumbarton he was in charge at Stranraer.

Aitken has also never given any indication he wants a move to the full-time game.

Bringing him in would be a gamble and the feeling is right now a more-experienced manager is what’s needed.

United fans heading for the Clyde coast are reminded entry will be by ticket only.

Briefs are still available from the club shop opposite Tannadice.