Dundee boss James McPake has revealed Gordon Strachan helped him get over derby heartache after a painful first experience as a manager at Tannadice – by telling him to go to the pictures.
Just four league games into the job, the Dens gaffer saw his side ripped apart by a rampant Dundee United in a 6-2 defeat.
James revealed in former Dark Blues team-mate Simon Ferry’s Open Goal podcast that dealing with defeat has been the single toughest part of the job.
And advice from the vastly-experienced Strachan, a technical director at the club, to take his mind off things has helped no end after the former Scotland boss spent two hours with him after the loss back in August.
On the job as manager, James said: “I’m really enjoying it but it’s really tough.
“The toughest part? Getting beat and dealing with it. Finding a way not to take it home – Gordon has helped massively on that.
“We’ve had one heavy defeat everyone knows about and he sat two hours with me that night in my office and told how he had got through things that hadn’t gone right in his career, how he handled it and how he thought he hadn’t handled it.
“That would maybe be going home and being in a bad mood with his family.
“He said to me after getting beat 6-2 from United in my first derby, devastated, to get someone to look after the kids, take the missus out to the pictures.
“I’m thinking ‘is he being serious?’ and thinking I should be watching the game again.
“He said you do need to do that but go and process it because it will hurt. I am getting better at that.”
The Dens boss also praised Strachan for helping him from day one, even before the ex-Celtic boss had returned to his first senior club as a director.
“Our paths had crossed when we signed his grandson Luke but I phoned Gordon to ask, if I got the Dundee job, would he help me?” added James.
“I think the club had been thinking about bringing him in anyway because of his links to the club. I think Gordon thought I was asking him to be my assistant! How could I ask Gordon Strachan to be my assistant?!”
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