Hearts boss Robbie Neilson has joined the chorus of those paying tribute to former Dundee United manager Jim McLean.

McLean died on Saturday at the age of 83. He has been hailed as one of Scottish football’s greatest ever managers. He took Dundee United from mid-table to Premier League champions, whilst also making the club a force in Europe.

Rates legend very highly

Neilson feels that McLean deserves to be rated as highly as two other Scottish football managerial icons, Sir Alex Ferguson and Jock Stein.

Jim McLean Dundee United Manager

Former Dundee United manager Jim McLean (Photo by David Cannon/Allsport/Getty Images)

“Jim instilled a winning mentality around the place. If you’re looking at Scottish managers, you’ve got Sir Alex Ferguson, Jock Stein and McLean. They’re probably the three you would put in that bracket of greatness” (The Courier).

Spent time at Tannadice as player and manager

Neilson spent time at Dundee United as both player and manager, so he knows the club very well. Therefore, he is well qualified to talk about the impact that McLean still had on the club. That was the case even when McLean was no longer the manager at Tannadice.

“When I was up there as a player and as a manager he was the main man in the club. Before Jim took over they were a lower-end second division team” he concluded (the Courier).

Robbie Neilson during his time as Dundee United manager (photo by David Young/Action Plus via Getty Images)

It tells you just how influential that McLean was that he was still a huge figure at the club even when he was no longer manager.

No doubt McLean’s influence will be felt at the club for the rest of the season, and indeed in years to come. That is how important he was to Dundee United. His legacy at Tannadice will never be forgotten.

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