10 Mar Neil McCann denies slapping St Johnstone goalkeeper
Dundee manager Neil McCann claimed his players should have shown the fight he did following their 4-0 defeat by St Johnstone – but he denied slapping Perth goalkeeper Zander Clark.
McCann’s hand appeared to catch the side of Clark’s face during a close confrontation between the pair after the Tayside derby at Dens Park.
The Dundee boss had initially exchanged words with Saints kit man Manny Fowler before he and Saints substitute Clark became embroiled in a struggle next to the dugouts.
After his team slipped into 10th place in the Ladbrokes Premiership, McCann said: “The spat at the end, I’m just a bit fired up. I thought I was controlled during the match but I’ve gone over and words were exchanged and one of their players has put their hand on me and wouldn’t let go.
“I asked him to let go and he wouldn’t. It took me a wee bit of time to calm down and walk away.
“But when somebody puts their hands on you and you ask them to remove them and they don’t, it is hard to just back off.
“I put my hands up to grab Zander to say get his hands off me. Then I retracted them because I had started to regain my composure.
“There was no punch, no slap or anything like that though.”
McCann added: “Maybe if my players showed that type of fight we wouldn’t have got that performance.
“I’m embarrassed by the performance and by the result. It doesn’t sit well with me and I’ve told them that.”
Saints manager Tommy Wright was at the periphery of the dispute but he was later involved in a heated exchange with Dundee assistant manager Graham Gartland amid some jostling as both sets of players walked into the tunnel.
“It’s difficult when you lose a derby game but the TV pictures will tell the truth of what happened,” said Wright, for whom Chris Kane grabbed a double and Blair Alston netted after Jordan Piggot’s own goal.
“There was certainly no blame attached to us. At times, these things happen but I’ll let the TV pictures tell the story.
“They were waiting for us at the end. It’s like a throwback to when I played in a pub team. But we kept our heads and behaved impeccably.
“Did it spill over into the tunnel? It did a bit, aye. But I’m here, aren’t I? There are no marks on me.
“There was a lot of shouting and a lot of threats. But I’m a big boy, I can look after myself.”