Dundee’s young guns may not have hit the headlines on Friday night but manager James McPake is delighted to see Max Anderson and Sam Fisher grab their first-team chance.
A Man-of-the-Match display from centre-back Lee Ashcroft set the Dark Blues on their way at Alloa with two headed goals either side of half-time.
McPake, though, was keen to highlight the “incredible” form of young midfielder Anderson as he notched his third goal in four games as he completed the 3-0 scoreline late on.
After scoring his first-ever senior goal at the start of the month against Inverness, the 19-year-old hasn’t looked back.
Also impressing was Fisher alongside Ashcroft in earning Dundee’s second clean sheet in three matches.
A former centre-back himself, McPake was pleased to see Fisher get over “a wee shaky spell” in the game to finish strongly against in-form striker Innes Cameron.
“Lee Ashcroft was outstanding and he has been for a while,” said the Dens boss.
“And young Sam Fisher next to him as well, that’s not easy for a kid that’s probably only played 15 games in his career and just coming back from an ACL injury.
“He deserves huge credit for his performance.
“He maybe had a wee shaky spell but he dusted himself down and played his way back into the game.
“Him and Max Anderson had good nights and that’s two products from our academy. You look at Max and he’s in there ahead of senior players.”
‘What he’s doing is incredible’
On DeeTV, he added: “In the last four games, he’s scored three goals and won us a penalty. He also ran almost 13km at Alloa.
“What he’s doing is incredible and he’s doing that Tuesday-Friday.
“I’ve had him since I was with the U/18 team and to see him and Sam doing well, we are proud of that.
“We had another couple of academy products on the bench as well who deserve to be in the first team on merit.”
‘We all had to take a look at ourselves’
Focus now switches to yet another big Championship clash this weekend as Dundee head to Dunfermline with both sides neck-and-neck in the table.
Ahead of that one, McPake was pleased to see his side put the disappointment of the performance against Ayr last Tuesday behind them so quickly with three points at Alloa.
“The players all deserved that win,” he added.
“The Ayr game was poor and I could sense on Wednesday they felt they had let the football club down.
“They certainly hadn’t done in terms of effort but it was a poor night in footballing terms.
“We all had to take a look. On Friday we were much better and more like we were against Inverness and Arbroath.
“I’m glad we turned it around on Friday.”