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Management a ‘precarious’ job, says Dundee assistant boss

Dundee v West Ham United – Pre Season Friendly – Kilmac Stadium
(Image credit: Ian Rutherford)

Dundee assistant manager Dave Mackay admits that he is surprised that he and manager James McPake are the cinch Premiership’s longest serving management team.

Mackay acknowledges the fact reflects the magnitude of the job in modern football.

McPake and MacKay have been in post at Dens Park since May 2019 and have encountered various setbacks and the pandemic thrown into the mix as well.

Ultimately however, both guided Dundee back to the top flight with a play-off victory over Kilmarnock and they continue the season against Motherwell on Saturday having become the longest-serving management team since Steven Gerrard and his staff left Rangers for Aston Villa.

Mackay said: “Management can be a precarious position sometimes.

“Gerrard moved on from Rangers due to the interest drummed up from the success they enjoyed last season. The days of managers staying at clubs for long periods doesn’t happen anymore and 910 days doesn’t seem that long.

“Both me and James have had superb backing from John Nelms and Tim Keyes since we have arrived in our roles back in 2019 and we want to maintain that as long as possible.

“John and Tim don’t just jump in and make changes after different results, which is a positive.”

Dundee and Motherwell have both recorded 1-0 wins against each other this season.

Mackay said: “Motherwell will be a hard game for us, they have bounced back with a couple of wins following a sticky period.

“Set-pieces are massive for them, where a lot of their goals have come from, we found that to our cost down there which ultimately cost us the game.

“When we played them in the cup, we played really well and deserved to go through. The game at Fir Park was frustrating and should have been out of sight in the first half and Paul McMullan hit the crossbar.”

Following the clash at home to Graham Alexander’s side, both McPake and Mackay will be venturing over to Dublin to take in the FAI Cup final between Bohemians and St Patrick’s Athletic with the duo keen to be proactive prior to the January transfer window.

“You only get a couple of transfer windows a season so it’s an opportunity to look at players with regards to strengthening in January,” Mackay said.

“There’s a long way to go in the season and it’s important to start making preparations now.

“We have other players ear-marked alongside the assignment to Ireland on Sunday.”

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