Dundee boss James McPake says he’s happy with Kane Hemmings despite his lack of goals – but admits fellow strikers Danny Johnson and Andrew Nelson are knocking on the door for a starting spot.
Hemmings has found the net just once for the Dark Blues since returning to the club in August and hasn’t scored in his last six.
The Dens gaffer says Hemmings was “great” against Partick Thistle on Saturday but does admit Johnson and Nelson are in his mind for the trip to Ayr United tomorrow.
James said: “Danny Johnson is always in the thinking as is Andrew Nelson.
“I thought Hemmings was great on Saturday for large parts of the game. But for a save from Scott Fox, he puts us 2-1 up.
“Danny has been working hard and scored a great goal for the reserves on Monday.
“I understand why people will ask about that, Danny has scored a few goals, Neller has too, but Kano only has one so far.
“They are all working hard together – Danny and Neller played well in the reserves on Monday as I expected they would.
“Kano played well on Saturday – all that’s missing for him right now is the goals.”
After the 3-1 defeat to the Jags, fans were critical of the manager’s decision-making.
“You don’t get questioned about two strikers if we put our chances away,” McPak responded.
“That’s the job and the position I am in. If we were 3-0 up at half-time and saw the game out then great.”
A lot of anger from the supporters came from the substitutions of Shaun Byrne and the impressive Paul McGowan for two youngsters in Fin Robertson and Josh McPake respectively.
However, the manager had his reasons.
He said: “At the time I thought we were struggling to deal with Kenny Miller getting into space which is why Fin went on.
“Paul McGowan was dead on his feet.
“His partner had a baby last Tuesday and it was poorly. Thankfully, the baby is doing OK now.
“On Saturday morning we found out he was coming to play so it was a minor miracle to get 73 minutes and that performance out of him.
“He was outstanding in the game so I can see why people would question him coming off.
“I got praise for making substitutions at Dunfermline that worked, which is great – I have to take the stick when it comes, too.”