Dundee boss McCann urges his side to repeat Celtic showing against Rangers

McCann praised Steven Caulker’s display in the Dundee defence.
McCann praised Steven Caulker’s display in the Dundee defence.

Neil McCann has challenged his Dundee side to repeat their performance at Celtic Park on a regular basis as they came away with a hard-earned point.

The Dark Blues went into the contest at Parkhead as massive underdogs against the champions but defended well for 90 minutes and came away with a first clean sheet since the turn of the year.

That point saw them stretch the gap to bottom sides Partick and Ross County to five points.

Neil said: “The result should reinforce the belief I have in them.

“I keep on telling them they are a good side when we are at our best.

“We can’t afford to be carrying boys who aren’t playing at the top end of their level, we’re not good enough yet.

“When they give that level of performance we’re a tough side to break down, we showed that, and we still look a real threat on the counter-attack.

“I would still like us to play a wee bit. When Celtic changed it with the triple substitution, that’s where I’m looking for us to be a bit braver and then trust our game and get our foot on the ball and play, maybe we didn’t do enough of that but I’m so proud of them.

Dundee boss Neil McCann believes last night’s result showed the real Dee.

“I couldn’t be happier because we did use the time in the international break to work on certain things.

“I felt, although Celtic had plenty of shots, they didn’t open us up too much.

“I always felt there was an element of comfort, certainly from my point of view watching.

“We could have stolen it at the end with Mark O’Hara’s great ball flashed across the face and I felt we looked really dangerous on the counter-attack, particularly first half.

“You’re always going to have to defend and sit deep at times but, to a man, they were brilliant.”

On Tuesday, the Tele revealed Dundee had turned down a seven-figure bid from Scandinavia, thought to be from Rosenborg, for defender Steven Caulker.

Their interest in Caulker has now been ended by them signing another centre-half.

McCann made it clear he would not be moving and that prompted Rosenburg to move for Norwegian international Even Hoyland from Sogndal before their transfer deadline on Wednesday night.

The 29-year-old has signed a three-and-a-half year deal for an undisclosed fee.

The speculation didn’t impact the Caulker’s “immense” display as part of the back three at Parkhead.

His manager added: “For him to say to me when I told him about the offer that he wasn’t interested and he had a job to do here, I think that’s fantastic news for the club. It’s great for me he wants to be part of it.”