Neil heaps praise on Dundee debutant Lewis Spence

Rangers' Aaron Nemane (left) with Lewis Spence

Dundee manager Neil McCann has heaped praise on league debutant Lewis Spence after his performance in the defeat to Rangers last Saturday.

The Dark Blues went down 4-1 to the Glasgow side but the boss hailed his team for their bravery and effort, with Spence singled out for his showing.

“I asked them to be brave and get on the ball,” Neil said.

“I thought Lewis Spence, for his league debut, had a fantastic game and I won’t be too critical of them.

“I’ll take the responsibility for being a little too open.

“If we’re wanting to have aspirations to move forward, we have to give the players freedom to try to play and be brave.”

The 21-year-old, signed from Dunfermline in the summer, was making his first top-flight appearance after spells with the Pars and on-loan at Brechin City.

The young midfielder coped well with the challenge of going toe-to-toe with full internationals such as Scotland’s Graham Dorrans and Croatian star Niko Kranjcar, as well as ex-Aberdeen man Ryan Jack.

The combative midfielder’s only other Dundee first-team appearance came as he started in the 2-0 Betfred Cup group stage win over Buckie Thistle.

Spence was thrust into the side for the Gers game after impressing for the U/20s and could be set to continue to pick up top-team minutes, with fellow midfielder Scott Allan struggling for fitness.

Allan aggravated a groin strain in the heavy defeat at Ibrox and the former Dundee United, Hibs and Celtic man is still doubtful of being fit to start against St Johnstone on Saturday at Dens Park.