Dundee United manager Jim Goodwin has made it clear he would be keen to work with midfielder Jamie McGrath again next season, and hinted that he would like that partnership to continue at Tannadice.
Republic of Ireland international McGrath is on loan at United from Wigan Athletic and has scored six times in the league this season, including goals in the last three games as his side have climbed up to tenth in the table.
The 26-year-old was a stand-out player under Goodwin at St Mirren before earning his move to the Latics and is looking back to his best after being paired with his former boss again.
Asked about the player’s future and the possibility of him being at Dundee United next season, Goodwin praised the player and said he hoped he would have him in his squad wherever he is managing.
“Jamie will go back to Wigan after the last day of the season because he’s contracted to them,” he said.
“I know he’s loved his time here at Dundee United. He’s obviously disappointed himself in how the season has panned out and he certainly didn’t come here in the summer to be involved in a relegation dogfight.
“I think to any of us looking from the outside in at the Dundee United squad we all believed they would be up there challenging top six and that’s why Jamie came to the club initially.
“I’ve worked with Jamie very closely at St Mirren for a couple of seasons and I think we work very well together. I would like to think he would say the same. He’s got international recognition through myself and himself working together.
“If he is to leave Wigan next year then I would like to think that wherever I am, I would have an opportunity to be at the table for those discussions. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens there.
“Jamie knows I think the world of him. He’s a really important member of this group and I’m pretty sure he would have a number of very keen suitors in the summer.
“I think what we’ve done here, the professionalism from the club and the way that he’s been treated here will hopefully put us in the driver’s seat.”
Goodwin’s own position is not yet certain, with the former Aberdeen boss having joined on a short-term contract after United parted company with Liam Fox in February.
The Irishman said that he had “thoroughly enjoyed” his time at the club so far despite their difficult position in the league and is expecting to hold further discussions about his future if he achieves his aim of steering the team safely from relegation.
“I have loved my time at United,” Goodwin said. “We haven’t gone too far into future discussions.
“My main focus is about this season. That was always the plan when I came in. It was a short-term contract, ‘Do what you can to keep the club in the league’.
“Then once things are settled down and if I do what is asked of me, then I would like to think those discussions will start.
“But listen, this is a big club and there would be a number of managers who would like to be sitting in this seat at the moment because of the ambitions of the club.
“We’ll just need to wait and see what happens but my message to everybody would be that I have loved my time here, I’ve had great backing from everyone from the board to the supporters to the backroom team.
“I believe there’s a very good group of players still contracted to the club for next season who will only improve.”
STV News is now on WhatsApp
Get all the latest news from around the countryFollow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp
Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country