Micky Mellon hopes Dundee United can produce a fitting tribute to Jim McLean on Saturday – but he stressed they will always strive for the standards the former manager set.
United host St Johnstone in the first match at Tannadice since the death of their long-serving former manager and chairman was announced on Boxing Day.
The club have produced an 80-page tribute programme, the players will warm up in special T-shirts which will later be auctioned off, and their pre-match coverage will be devoted to McLean’s legacy.
The club will donate half the proceeds to Alzheimer Scotland and have asked fans at home to join in applause in the 83rd minute to mark the year McLean’s team won the title.
Mellon said: “We will give Jim McLean the day because it’s the first game back here since he sadly passed away. But Jim McLean will never be forgotten at Dundee United. Never.
“Jim McLean’s impact on Dundee United will always be felt. It won’t take just a day on Saturday to celebrate that.
“He has created what Dundee United is today and the values and morals and the blueprint of how you try and get success at Dundee United.
“We will build our own version of that with those principles and values.
“So I am pleased we are going to be able to do that on Saturday but Jim McLean will always be celebrated at Dundee United, that’s for sure.”
United fans will hope their team can pay tribute with three points and Mellon said: “It’s important that we always keep the standards high. Saturday is no different. The standards of Dundee United have been set to get towards that.
“Jim McLean will be a big loss to his family and Scottish football and Dundee United but his presence is always felt around the club and it will always be felt around the club.”
Saturday will be the fourth Tayside derby between United and Saints this season and there has been no winner so far with a 1-1 draw on the opening day followed by two goalless games, although Mellon’s team won a Betfred Cup bonus point in a penalty shoot-out.
“They are tight games,” he said. “Two honest groups of lads who go at it from the first whistle.
“Both teams are well organised so I expect, if the history of the three games is anything to go by, it will be tight again.
“We have to make sure we use the home advantage and make sure the detail goes in our favour. It will be tight but I am looking forward to it, it will be a good game.”
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