Jim Goodwin grateful for United’s support after ‘difficult 18 months’

The Dundee United boss has plans in place for the club's Premiership return.

Jim Goodwin thanked the Dundee United board for allowing him the chance to banish “a difficult 18 months” on a personal level by leading the club back into the cinch Premiership.

The Irishman acknowledged he could easily have been relieved of his duties last summer after being unable to keep the Tannadice side in the top flight following his appointment last March, just weeks after he had been sacked by Aberdeen.

Having been given the opportunity to stay on for the current campaign, however, Goodwin was celebrating on Saturday night after United all but sealed the cinch Championship title with a 1-0 home win over 10-man Ayr in front of almost 10,000 of their jubilant supporters.

Second-place Raith Rovers are six points adrift and would also require an unrealistic goal difference swing of 36 over the last two games in order to overhaul the Tayside outfit and thwart Goodwin’s own redemption story.

“Over the next few days I’ll maybe reflect on my own personal things,” he said. “There’s no getting away from it, it’s been a difficult 18 months.

“What happened up at Aberdeen wasn’t a lot of fun and then last season not being able to keep this club in the Premier League was a huge disappointment.

“I’m extremely grateful to the powers that be here that they showed faith and belief in me in the summer. It would have been easy to draw a line under it after relegation and go in a different direction but they’ve shown a lot of confidence in me.

“I owe Luigi Capuano, the chief executive, a lot for the support he’s given me, and the chairman as well for the financial backing that he’s given me.

“We had a big job in the summer, we had to offload the bigger wage earners then we had to try and recruit players who are used to this league and had success in this league in the past, and thankfully it’s all paid off.”

Goodwin insisted United will be going up to the top flight with intentions of challenging for a top-six spot as opposed to merely battling for survival.

“I’d be lying if I said to you we hadn’t been working on things behind the scenes (for the Premiership),” he said. “We’ve remained quietly optimistic and we’ve had to plan for the future.

“We know we’ve got a number of players out of contract and we’ve got conversations that need to be had over the next couple of weeks.

“We built the squad in the summer to make us capable of getting out of this Championship. The boys have done that and deserve credit but next season’s a completely different kettle of fish.

“It’s a step up in quality and class and we have to make sure we recruit well in the summer to make us competitive in the league above.

“Not fighting and scrapping down the bottom of the table but actually making us really competitive to go and push on and compete for the top-half positions, and that’s what we aim to do.”

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