Dundee boss hails ‘brilliant’ showing against St Johnstone

© David Young
Dundee’s A-Jay Leitch-Smith (No 7) is congratulated after scoring against St Johnstone at Dens

Dundee manager Neil McCann was “proud and happy” at the performance of his outfit in their 3-2 Dens Park victory against St Johnstone.

The win gave Dundee their first three points of the season and lifted them off the bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership.

Neil said: “We stood up to a fantastic St Johnstone side who went to Celtic Park and got a draw.

“We had some really brilliant performances and one or two exceptional ones.

“After losing to Rangers at Ibrox last week, we had a brilliant week in training, especially on Tuesday and Thursday.

“In defeat, I think it is important to learn and identify what went wrong and we did that.

“We looked compact and defended really well against Saints.

“I told the boys during the week our results did not reflect our performances and I told them not to panic.

“I told them not to be afraid to take risks.

“I also told them I wanted them to be brave and play the ball out from the back.

“We did that and I thought we managed the game well.

“It was a crazy 10 or 15 minutes towards the end.

“The first penalty I felt was clear cut.

“However, our penalty I wasn’t sure about. It was contact in the box and I was screaming for it.

“The final spot-kick between Darren and Ando could have gone either way.

“St Johnstone getting it back to 3-2 made things difficult but I’m glad we were able to see it out.”

Dundee certainly did learn from their Ibrox loss.

In his programme notes for the Saints game, McCann said: “With a new and young side it’s inevitable that they will make mistakes.

“However, it’s my job to continue to be relentless in our coaching so that it becomes second nature to stop these mistakes from happening.”

Although Dundee made blunders, they had A-Jay Leitch-Smith in dynamic form.

Neil was, naturally, delighted for the Crewe-born forward, who netted two of the goals which won the match.

He said: “He took his goals really well.

“The first was a real poacher’s goal and the second a very clinical strike.”