Dundee’s caretaker boss James McPake insists the future at the club is bright – whether he gets the job full-time or not.
The club’s reserve and U/18 team manager stepped up to take the last week of training for the Dark Blues after the club sacked Jim McIntyre following the club’s relegation.
He oversaw a 3-2 home defeat to St Mirren that completed a miserable season for all concerned at Dens Park.
Managing director John Nelms has talked to potential new managers this week, including Jim Goodwin and Derek Adams, as well as McPake and Dee striker Kenny Miller.
Whichever way the club goes, however, McPake knows there’s better yet to come for the Dark Blues.
That’s because he’s overseen a group of talented youngsters in his time as a coach who are ready to be fed into the first-team set-up.
As manager, McPake gave 16-year-old Finn Robertson a debut from the start before replacing him with another youngster in Josh Mulligan. Also on the bench were Max Anderson and Lyall Cameron.
McPake revealed those debuts have been a long time coming despite the players’ tender ages.
He said: “The young players came into training at the end of the season and then I brought another four in for the last week.
“When you’re walking off the training pitch and first-team boys are saying ‘wow, what about him?’ then it shows the young lads have quality.
“When Neil McCann was manager I phoned Hampden to ask permission for two 15-year-olds to play in the Betfred Cup last summer and the answer was no.
“That tells you what we think of the young lads at the club.
“I don’t know if they would have started the game, that would have been Neil’s call but they were definitely in the plans.
“The senior players here know how good they are, they have seen them training with us and have been impressed.
“We won’t put too much pressure on them, they’re still young, still only 16 and have miles to go but the main thing is to bring them in.
“The easy bit is getting into a first-team environment, the tough bit is staying there.
“They enjoyed getting that step up but the hard work for them is really coming now.”