McCann fully believes in his players

Dundee manager Neil McCann has urged his players to believe they can beat Celtic and bring silverware to Dens Park.

McCann set lofty ambitions when he began his first management role and is trying to instil the same mindset in his players ahead of Wednesday’s Betfred Cup quarter-final.

Dundee secured their first league win on Saturday against St Johnstone and McCann insists they can follow it up by ending Celtic’s 55-game unbeaten domestic run.

He said: “I want to be winning trophies at this club and why shouldn’t you have aspirations? Kilmarnock have done it, Ross County have done it in recent times. So there’s no reason why Dundee shouldn’t have aspirations to do it.

“I am really happy with my squad, it’s building and progressing. We will have ups and downs over the season in search of consistency but I have full belief in them.

“Somewhere along the line, if you want to have a trophy in these cabinets then you will have to beat Celtic.”

McCann won 10 major trophies as a player with Hearts and Rangers and appeared hungry for more as he spoke in front of a photograph of Dundee’s 1962 league-winning skipper Bobby Cox in Dens Park’s boardroom.

“There’s nothing better,” he said. “You can earn a career and go and play for big, great clubs and earn lots of money but football is actually about winning things and I want them to get that in their mindset, that they want to win things and search for memories that people can’t take away.

“Guys like that sitting behind me here, I had the pleasure of meeting him in my young days here. This is club that has been far removed from winning trophies and I want to get back to it, and I would love these guys to be part of it.”

McCann sent Dundee into the 1995 League Cup final with a spectacular winner against Airdrie before a 2-0 defeat by Aberdeen left them still searching for their first major trophy since the 1974 triumph in the same competition.

The 43-year-old said: “I got to the final with Dundee in ’95 and unfortunately I had quite a bad injury playing in that final, and I regret that to this day, that I didn’t do myself justice, and I don’t think we did ourselves justice in that cup final.

“But scoring the winner in the semi-final and seeing what it meant to the city, and I think it had a great impact on the club financially, I know what those types of cup runs can do.

“If we can bring a bit of silverware to this city it will be revered and the players will be revered too. It’s early days before we can be looked upon as a constant to get to those stages but it’s got to start somewhere.

“It’s about whether our players really believe inside that they are good enough to step up and play against Celtic. I do, 100 per cent.”

 

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