Dundee United have sacked head coach Jack Ross after the Scottish Premiership side were thrashed 9-0 by Celtic to leave them rock bottom of the table.
The Tangerines were soundly beaten by Ange Postecoglou’s top-flight champions, with Kyogo Furuhashi and Liel Abada both scoring hat-tricks at Tannadice – a result which sealed Ross’ fate.
Dundee United have failed to win any of their first five league matches, losing four of them, and have shipped 18 goals.
Ross’ side also exited the Europa Conference League via a 7-1 aggregate loss to AZ Alkmaar in the third-qualifying round. From the 7-0 second-leg loss, United conceded a goal once every 15 minutes, on average.
The 46-year-old was hired to replace Tam Courts in June after Ross’ predecessor left the club by mutual consent before taking charge at Hungarian club Budapest Honved over the summer.
Assistant Liam Fox will take charge of the first team on an interim basis ahead of Wednesday’s Premier Sports Cup match at Livingston.
Ross: I’m not getting enough from the group
Speaking after the 9-0 defeat to Celtic, Ross admitted he was not getting enough out of his squad but was adamant that he wanted time to get it right again.
“I think prior to this season I hadn’t lost a game by more than three goals as a manager, so this is hurting me and I’m suffering from it,” he told Sky Sports. “It doesn’t diminish my want to put it right. I’ve overcome challenges before and I want to overcome this one, but it hurts a lot.
“The extra attention, debate or speculation I accept that because that’s just the nature of my job. When you’re in charge of a team that’s produced those two results [7-0 vs Alkmaar and 9-0 vs Celtic] then it’s absolutely deserved.
“I’m not getting enough from the current group I have, so it would be weak and remiss of me to look for excuses and apportion blame to others at the club. We’ve got a good group here who should be producing better than they are, led by me.
“I can understand people looking at what we can do to strengthen the group again, but first and foremost I need to get more from the group than I’m getting.”
Pundits react to Dundee United 9-0 loss to Celtic
Stiliyan Petrov speaking to Sky Sports: “As much as we are saying that Celtic were outstanding, Dundee United gave them the chance to be outstanding. They weren’t competitive or aggressive. They had a couple of spells in the game and Steven Fletcher was outstanding in winning headers, but nobody was going for the second ball, nobody was going for tackles and they really struggled to create. They made it easier for Celtic and they would not stop.”
James McFadden speaking to Sky Sports: “They didn’t start the season poorly, they had a tremendous win against Alkmaar at Tannadice, a great performance. You talk about structure, energy, when to press and when to sit off, they got everything spot on [that day]. So it’s possible that they can do it, because they’ve done it under Jack Ross with those players. It’s very difficult.
“After the 7-0 [loss to Alkmaar], it doesn’t leave your mind, it stays with you and it hurts. You’ve got strong characters in that dressing room but you’re trying to pick each other up. You’re looking for leadership from the manager, the manager is looking for a response from the players and at the moment, they’re not getting it. A 3-0 against St Mirren, a 4-1 against Hearts and now you’ve got a 7-0 and a 9-0. It’s a really tough one and this is a team that finished fourth last year.
“As incredible as it sounds, because it’s so short into his tenure, but if you’ve got a 7-0 and a 9-0 with a 4-1 and a 3-0 then something has to change. There will surely be a conversation as to whether things can be turned around because this was a 9-0, but it could have been a lot more. You can take one of them in isolation and say last week it was good, but the run they’re on, something has to give and something has to change.”
Former Dundee United player Sean Dillon speaking to Sky Sports: “It doesn’t make for good reading. There’s a lot of work to be done. They have to get together as a team, I know that sounds basic but they have to go to basics. They have to be really hard to beat, get into the first half an hour and be really tight. We weren’t just getting close enough to people, it just opens the door to quality teams and Celtic were a quality team.”