Inverness Caley Thistle have knocked back a bid from Dundee to speak to John Robertson about the vacant manager’s post at Dens Park.
Robertson emerged as a surprise candidate yesterday but if the Dark Blues want their man they’ll have to fight for him.
The 54-year-old is on the shortlist of possible new bosses that’s now been drawn up by the Dens board.
Also on it is caretaker boss James McPake and at least two others who are under consideration. until now Hearts legend Robertson has not been listed among the main contenders to
succeed Jim McIntyre, who was sacked at the beginning of last week.
But he does meet the criteria Dark Blues managing director John nelms has previously listed as being desirable for anyone taking over the hot seat at Dens.
In a managerial career stretching back over 16 years and taking in two spells at Inverness as well as periods at Hearts, Ross County, Livingston, Derry City and east Fife, he’s been in charge of
370 games and won 42% of them.
He also knows the current Championship inside out having been in charge of ICT for the past two campaigns.
Despite a shoestring budget, he guided them to the play-offs this season, beating Ayr in the quarterfinals before exiting to Dundee united.
Robertson does have a minor Dundee connection. In 1998, he had a four-game loan spell at Dens, scoring one goal before returning to Hearts where he was an unused sub in their Scottish Cup win that season.
Having fixed him up on a new contract only recently, ICT want to hold on to him and have, therefore, refused Dundee permission to hold talks.
That could change if Robertson indicates he wants to consider the switch.
He is only one of several candidates under consideration and it could still be that McPake remains a more attractive option.
Although he does not meet nelms’ criteria, for at least a couple of years now he’s been viewed by the Dens hierarchy as a potential future manager.
That view of him has only been strengthened by the way he’s stepped up to take over from McIntyre, albeit on a temporary basis, over the past week or so.