McCann talks Dundee risk

New interim Dundee boss Neil McCann is “excited” about his surprise appointment but concedes the club look to have taken a risk.

The Sky Sports pundit and former Dark Blues winger, 42, has taken over the struggling Tayside club following the sacking of Paul Hartley on Monday.

Hartley departed after Saturday’s 2-0 home defeat to Hamilton which left Dundee in the Ladbrokes Premiership relegation play-off spot, five points ahead of Inverness.

The Dens Park men have lost seven in a row and have five post-split fixtures remaining, the first of which is against Motherwell on Saturday week.

At a press conference at Dens Park, McCann stressed that he took the post “with Sky’s best wishes and approval” but noted the club’s gamble.

“It is not a big risk for me, it is maybe a big risk for the club – a lot of guys will think because I’ve not been in a job before,” said McCann, who has coaching experience with Dunfermline.

“But I appreciate the opportunity. I am not going into anything lightly.

“Most people know the type of person I am, the type of character, the standards that I liked to have when I was playing and training and certainly through my Sky job, the standards that I have tried to keep up. Those qualities I would like to think I will bring to the football club.

“Yes, we are in a poor position at the minute but equally we are not far off (seventh-placed) Kilmarnock.”

The former Scotland, Rangers and Hearts player, who started and ended his career at Dens Park, is confident of keeping the club in the top flight.

He said: “I’m not going to kid anybody on and say that it’s going to be easy because it’s not. There’s a lot of hard work ahead.

“The other sides around us will have that same mentality but it’s not any use speaking here at this desk or saying it’s going to be that way at training.

“The only thing that matters is when you cross the line and the guys have been close on a number of occasions (but) not being able to get that win.

“But all it takes is one to fall and the confidence will rise, the squad will start to take a few more risks.

“It’s my job now to extract that confidence, bring it out to the fore and hopefully that’ll be enough to get us the points.”

McCann is looking no further than the five remaining games of the season.

He said: “Dundee are a massive club with a huge fan base and I know what the club has to offer.

“The squad at my disposal now is more than good enough. With respect to the other teams and their managers, we’ll be giving absolutely everything.

“It’s up to me to be giving game plans and tactics that’ll allow the players to go out with the knowledge that they need to win a game of football.

“But we all know it comes down to the players and it’ll be up to them to then carry that out.”

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