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Thursday, 13 February, 2003, 01:08 GMT
Dundee Utd appoint McCall
Ian McCall has been a great success in management
New United boss Ian McCall arrives at Tannadice

Dundee United have appointed Ian McCall as their new manager after sacking Paul Hegarty.

McCall and his management team of Gordon Chisholm and Tony Doherty handed in their resignations at Falkirk on Thursday morning.

McCall had turned down the chance to take over from previous Dundee United boss Alex Smith in October, paving the way for Hegarty to take over.

But he has now been persuaded to take the reins at Tannadice, with it becoming increasingly apparent that Falkirk cannot win promotion to the Scottish Premier League.

Despite sitting top of the First Division, Falkirk's Brockville stadium does not meet SPL criteria.

I was only at Falkirk for six months, but it felt a lot longer

Ian McCall
McCall has signed a three-and-a-half year deal at Tannadice.

"It's taken me a long time to get here and I've waded through some really heavy waters," said McCall.

"I've made mistakes as a player and that is why I am so determined to do well as a manager.

"I'm determined to do my best here - I'm not saying that we can get back to the glory days but I want to get Dundee United back into the higher reaches of the SPL."

Hegarty was appointed at the start of November, but the club's results have failed to improve and they are currently a point adrift at the bottom of the Scottish Premier League.

United lost 2-0 to Celtic on Wednesday night after being knocked out of the Scottish Cup by Hibs at the weekend.

United chairman Eddie Thompson admitted the sacking of Hegarty had been a distasteful experience.

He said: "It is a particularly sad day for me personally.

"I have known Paul Hegarty for 25 years and regard him as a personal friend.

"However managers are judged on results and we have been going backwards recently, only taking four points from our last 10 games.

"For the sake of this club and its fans, I could not allow this to continue."

United had been extensively involved in the transfer market during the January transfer window, although it is thought that Thompson was heavily involved in identifying transfer targets.

Hegarty was given the job after a spell as caretaker boss, following the dismissal of previous manager Alex Smith.

He spent virtually all of his playing career at Tannadice, captaining the club to their first Premier League title and the 1987 Uefa Cup final.

Hegarty's assistant Maurice Malpas and coach John Holt have also been dismissed to make way for McCall and his team.

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BBC Scotland's Alan Grant
"McCall felt he couldn't wait for promotion at Falkirk"
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