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Dundee United boss Micky Mellon: I love being part of Scottish football

Kilmarnock v Dundee United – Scottish Premiership – Rugby Park
(Image credit: Jeff Holmes)

Dundee United manager Micky Mellon is loving being embroiled in the pride and passion of Scottish football after experiencing his first round of fixtures.

The Paisley native is set to take on St Johnstone on Saturday 12 weeks after the Perth side were his first opponents in the Scottish Premiership.

The 48-year-old had previously spent his entire career outside of Scotland.

When asked what he had most enjoyed about his first few months back in his homeland, Mellon said: “Reminding everyone in Scotland how brilliant a country it is. Reminding everyone how brilliant the football clubs are when you go and visit them.

“They are like museums to the football club. The first club that comes to my mind is Kilmarnock – they still show the history of what they were and the same people are really proud to be involved. The history was all round the place and it made you understand what it meant to those people to play for Kilmarnock.

“When you come to Dundee United it’s the exact same, you have the history there, you have the people who care so much about the football club.

“And that’s all the way through. We played at Brechin and it was the same there: the ground was immaculate, the people all round the club loved the club, and that is something that is really special and unique to Scottish football.

“It’s great to see and I love being involved in it. It probably didn’t surprise me, I was just pleased because it’s all like that.

“Has anything else surprised me? Not really because I knew everybody loves their football in Scotland. Honestly, it just shapes our weekend, doesn’t it? It’s just the way we are.

“If you get beat, you are a bit peed off, and if you win, you will give your missus everything. She looks for the results, if she wants something and we get a win, she pretty much asks that night and gets whatever she would like. And if we get beat, pretty much through the whole of Scotland it will probably be the same, maybe don’t ask for that jacket that weekend because you’re no getting it.

“So nothing has really surprised me, I know we love football and I love being part of it.”

Mellon did not have set expectations for how his newly-promoted side would fare but is generally satisfied with where they sit in sixth place in the table.

“We never knew because at some stages this season, 18 or 19 of a 20-man squad had played the last four seasons in the Championship,” he said.

“I tried to keep it dead simple because I have done it before, promotions, eight times. After eight times you see the same things, you preempt the same things, there is no use trying to pretend you have the facts. Nobody could tell me how this team was going to do in the Scottish Premiership.

“I would never say I’m pleased with where we are in the league because I am quite an ambitious guy, and I want to be higher and higher all the time and try to get better all the time.

“But I would have to say, for a team coming out of the Championship with such little experience of the Premiership for a long time, if you said we would be sixth at the minute, I would have probably said ‘that’s not bad, we must be doing OK’.

“But I would still say that there have to be major improvements, and we have to get the balance right between keeping clean sheets and scoring goals.”