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James McPake impressed by Leigh Griffiths since striker’s Dundee return

By September 9, 2021No Comments

Dundee boss James McPake has been impressed with what he has seen so far from new signing Leigh Griffiths.

The Scotland striker joined the Tayside club on a year’s loan from Celtic on transfer deadline day to begin what is his second spell at Dens Park.

Fitness and off-field issues dogged Griffiths latterly at Parkhead but McPake, a former team-mate of the 31-year-old at Livingston and Hibernian, believes he has become more accomplished over the years and is considering handing him a debut against Livi at Dens Park on Sunday

The Dark Blues manager said: “He is scoring a lot of goals on the training pitch, that is a given.

“In the bounce game he got a goal which wasn’t a surprise, it was his first touch.

“I am enjoying working with him. I only knew him as a player in the same team and now coaching him I see how he has developed his game, which is excellent.

“You don’t have the career he has had without learning.

“He has worked with people like Brendan Rodgers, Gordon Strachan and Neil Lennon, some really good managers and all those managers have made him a more rounded player.

“At Hibs he was just a really serious goalscorer, a good player, but now I think he can take the ball in and do a lot more than when at Hibs when there were parts of his game he needed to develop.

“He has developed them and that’s why he has played for his country and won so many titles at Celtic.

“It is good working with him and seeing that.”

McPake admits he was relieved veteran midfielder Charlie Adam did not require an operation on a groin injury sustained in the last match against Motherwell.

He said: “We are delighted no surgery required, the specialist was very happy with it.

“Sometimes you are panicking about those phone calls, waiting on the doctor or physio phoning you, but in Charlie’s case it was a really good phone call even though there is still a time frame for recovery.

“I was relieved rather and good news for Charlie, the club and the fans.

“He keeps saying he is a quick healer and he has shown that.

“He is ahead of schedule. I think potentially we could see Charlie on the pitch in September.”