Former Dundee and Rangers striker Nacho Novo has said sorry to Dark Blues fans for celebrating a Light Blues double on his return to Dens Park.
The Spanish hitman celebrated wildly after coming on as a substitute for Rangers in his first game facing his old club since moving to Ibrox in the summer of 2004.
The now-40-year-old entered the fray for Shota Arveladze in the second half to notch a late brace which saw the Gers run out 2-0 winners on September 26 the same year.
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Novo told how his biggest regret was hailing his goals and punching the turf but explained he had been abused by Dee supporters before coming on, which had hurt him.
The ex-Dens hero revealed the mixed emotions when appearing at Clarks on Lindsay Street for a recent Longest Forty live event and question and answer.
Speaking exclusively to Tele Sport, Novo said: “My first game at Dundee after signing for Rangers was at Dens Park and I was a sub that day.
“It was a league game and I heard abuse from some of the fans as I was warming up to come on. They were booing me and I thought, ‘Why would you do that to me when I did very well for you?’
“I scored two goals and the adrenaline was flowing and I regret that I punched the grass with my fist when celebrating. But I can say that I was celebrating that goal that way because of the abuse I had taken.
“But don’t get me wrong, I still love Dundee. It’s a great club and like a family to me, I still have friends that I keep in touch with.
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“Listen, I did not want to hurt anyone. But I am not going to lie, on the football park you can get carried away and that is what happened that day and I apologise to the fans now. I was also quite young.”
Novo also took aim at city rivals Dundee United but insisted he loved his time in Dundee and has many great memories of the city and the Dark Blues, for whom he scored 34 goals in 87 appearances from 2002-04.
“The Dundee fans are very friendly and I can tell you now that I would never have signed for Dundee United.
“I lived in Broughty Ferry when I was playing and it is a very nice place but I got abuse from United supporters when I was out.”
He added: “I have a few highlights from playing at Dundee.
“We reached the Scottish Cup Final in 2003 and also had a good run in Europe as well.
“We actually had a really good quality team.
“We also had some great players in the team like the goalkeeper Julian Speroni and I enjoyed playing alongside Fabrizio Ravenelli, Juan Sara, Fabian Caballero, Gavin Rae and Barry Smith among others.”
Novo singled out boss Jim Duffy for special praise after he comforted the player following the tragic death of his mother, Isabel, at the age of 43 back in their home in Galicia.
“Jim Duffy was the manager and he was great. He was like a dad to me,” Novo added.
“He told me to go back to Spain straight away to go to the funeral and be with my family.
“He was so good because, with what happened, my head was all over the place, so I went home.
“Three days after the funeral I phoned the club to say I was coming back and I would play.
“Jim said just to stay but I said I needed to play to take my mind off what had happened.
“I always remember we were playing Kilmarnock away and I scored.”