Tam Courts accepts that Dundee United may lose their best players, but he is desperate to create an environment in which they want to stay at the club for as long as possible.
The Tangerines have had a strong start to the Scottish Premiership season as they find themselves in fourth place, just three points behind Rangers at the top.
For an undefeated team in seven in the league, however, it is inevitable that admiring glances will be cast in the direction of some of their key men, including Jeando Fuchs and Benjamin Siegrist.
It’s a reality Courts accepts, especially as the two are without a contract at the end of the season, but the Dundee United boss is keen to cultivate conditions that will make them think twice before leaving.
He said: “With your best players, on the one hand, you have to accept that they can leave. On the other hand, you try to create something special that makes them want to stay.
“My job here is to understand that we have to develop the players in order to be able to sell them, but we also have to create an environment that makes them want and willing to stay longer.
“It’s a big club with a big fan base. There is nothing better than the fans to see their best players come to the club.
“There has to be a sense of realism as well. We are still at the start of the season to consider potential players.
“But if we can continue to deliver on the pitch and continue to give the players something they care about, that can help us.
“They can enjoy their time here so much that they want to stay. All of these players came to Dundee United in the first place because it’s a great club in its own right.
“They can see the potential. If we can help the club realize their potential, these players will decide to extend their stay.
“Then they could play together a lot longer. That’s what the fans would want, that’s what we would like, but we are also realistic and know that the players have their own minds.”
Speaking ahead of their game against St Johnstone, the young manager, who took on the role as a duck in the water, said if his club don’t develop players and sell them then they don’t do their best. work properly.
“Every club in this league would see themselves as a selling club at one level or another,” he added. “We are no different.”
“In fact, we’re probably one of the few clubs that recognizes on a regular basis that we want to be a selling club.
“If we don’t sell players – especially young players – then we’re probably not doing something right.
“I have to give opportunities to young players and accept that there will be interest in our best players.”
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