Dundee boss delighted by preparations in Dave Mackay testimonial

© David Young
Jon Aurtenetxe goes in for a challenge on and Denny Johnstone

Dundee boss Neil McCann was pleased with his team’s approach as they ran out winners in St Johnstone stalwart Dave Mackay’s testimonial at McDiarmid Park on Friday night.

The second half saw a string of guests turn out for both sides, with Stoke City’s Charlie Adam, Barry Smith, Rab Douglas, Steven Milne, Gary Harkins, and even the Dark Blues manager making appearances.

Saints’ guests included Jodie Morris, Roddy Grant and Peter MacDonald, who had spells for both teams.

The game ended 5-3 in Dundee’s favour and Neil was delighted to get the chance to play a part in recognising Mackay’s long career that started at Dens.

He was particularly happy, though, with the showing in the first 45 minutes that saw the sides use first-team squad players and that ended with the Dark Blues 3-0 up thanks to goals from Mark O’Hara, young Jack Lambert and Sofien Moussa.

“It was a pretty relaxed build-up and preparation, maybe not as professional as it would be for a full match-day in the league,” said Neil.

“I said to the players before the game the most important thing was they looked after themselves properly and did it right.

“We’ve had boys coming back from injury and they needed to be right and it was important the rest of the boys were. They were and that first half was pleasing.

“We were able to try a few things, like three at the back and, although St Johnstone had a few chances, it worked well.

“And we were quite clinical. We missed a couple of chances ourselves but we scored three good goals, looked dangerous and I was quite happy going in three-nil up.”

Teenage midfielder Lambert caught the eye in the first half, with an assist as well as his goal and the manager was pleased with his display.

“Jack has been pushing himself forward and he is a talent. He has an eye for a pass and a goal. He earned the right to be involved.”

Neil was also delighted to be part of honouring Saints’ Scottish Cup-winning skipper Mackay, a man he holds in high regard.

“It was a good night and I was pleased for Dave, even when he scored against us from the penalty spot.

“He has always been a fantastic professional and a good guy and if anyone ever deserved to have a testimonial it’s him.”

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