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Stevie Crawford ready for Dundee United as Liam Fox's new assistant reveals his 'immediate challenge'

New Dundee United assistant boss Stevie Crawford has the ability to dissect the maze of Scottish football shaprish.

Crawford, who is the new number two at Tannadice behind Liam Fox, has over a decade's worth of knowledge and experience in managerial roles across the country, with spells as Dunfermline and East Fife boss as well as a spell as Robbie Neilson's assistant at Hearts. And it was at Tynecastle that Crawford and new United boss Fox bonded.

The 48-year-old felt burnt out at Dunfermline following just over two years of graft, with Fox also facing a difficult start to his management career during his time at Cowdenbeath back in 2016. But now the duo reunite in the City of Discovery with three home games on the horizon as they look to pull their team off the bottom of the cinch Premiership table. Speaking about the reunion, Crawford said: "My relationship with Liam goes back to when he was the Under 18s manager at Hearts when I worked with Robbie Neilson as his assistant.

"The relationship grew from there, me and Liam have had many a discussion, he's been there to bounce things off when I was at Dunfermline. We had good conversations because sometimes being away from somebody's environment they can tell you something that just might be for that hidden gem.

"I'm delighted to be getting the opportunity, it's a hard one because I have enjoyed being back at East Fife albeit frustrations at not managing to save the club from relegation last season. I can't just think that Stevie is here to fix everything or because Liam has got the job that it will take a few weeks for him to know me.

"Hopefully, we build relationships and get challenged by players that are going to ask questions about playing in the top league. It's about making sure Liam keeps a clear mind, he can bounce whatever he wants off me and just help to bring positivity.

"The immediate challenge is to get Dundee United winning games. You don't need to shout, but it's about getting that honesty and a relationship with the players.

"I will be there for Liam because I have been an assistant manager and a manager previously, and I know what it's like to have good people around you. I have learned a lot from being a manager and an assistant.

"Liam will give young players a chance if he thinks that they deserve it, and they can handle it. We've got to compete and there's pressure from the Dundee United support. That excites me, conversations with international players excites me and it's stuff I will look forward to and am not frightened to put myself back into it. I've been at Falkirk where I worked with Steven Pressley, Robbie Neilson took me into Hearts and also went down to MK Dons with him and have also been in a part-time environment with FC Edinburgh and East Fife."



The process behind Crawford coming to Dundee United was fluid with the approach from the Premiership side coming last Wednesday in the aftermath of East Fife losing to Stenhousemuir on League Two duty on Tuesday evening. Everything went swiftly after conversations with Dundee United sporting director Tony Asghar and Fox before being announced on Friday. Crawford is hoping the latest chapter in his management career won't be as strenuous as his spell at East End Park.

He said: "When I say 24/7, it was 24/7! After I left Dunfermline, I felt I was done and needed to recharge the batteries but there was always a desire to return to football. I look back and I have partly got to take responsibility for that and it's something that I will be careful I don't do at Dundee United.

"I won't be sitting with my feet up, but you've got to energise yourself and get your sleep at the right times. You find yourself with the structure at Dunfermline doing video analysis work which is the case in modern-day football.

"There were issues with bringing in coaching and backroom staff that take hours off your day. It was never about turning my back on football after Dunfermline. I just felt that I needed to get away, breathe and refresh myself for what my next challenge was going to be."

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