Paul McGowan says he’d be “distraught” if he left Dundee on the back of their relegation this season and has vowed to do all he can to come straight back up next year.
The Dens midfielder triggered a new one-year deal after playing more than 25 matches for the Dark Blues in the season just past and is determined to see the club back in the top flight at the first time of asking.
He told the Tele: “I’ve got another year and I want to stay and help the club unless told otherwise.
“I want to be here – I don’t want to leave with a relegation.
“I would be distraught if that happened and I’ll give my all to get the club back where it belongs.”
Though times are dark at Dens right now, McGowan knows the future will be brighter.
The Dark Blues faithful got a glimpse of some of the club’s youth products who will be knocking on the door of the first team next season and beyond.
Under caretaker manager James McPake – who stepped up from U/18 and reserve-team boss to take the first team against St Mirren – Finn Robertson made a first start with Josh Mulligan replacing him from the bench while Lyall Cameron and Max Anderson were unused subs.
All took part in first-team training for the final weeks of the season and McGowan says the standard of this crop is a real step up from previous groups.
And he insists much of that is down to the work done by McPake.
He said: “What James has done with the U/18s is remarkable, the football he has had them playing.
“He’s made it a proper team – I came in five years ago and there was little structure to it but he’s brought that.
“And it’s helped them develop as players. You can see that when they train with the first team and, hopefully, can kick on now.
“Some of them are 15, 16 and are going to make mistakes so you have to put the arm round them but they are good enough in ability to come train with us and good enough to play.
“Playing a full season would be hard but they fully deserve to be where they are and that’s down to James.
“They’ve needed the structure and needed somebody who knows how a big club works.
“That’s helped them because since I came here it’s not been great – young guys come in but there’s no direction in what way they are going and they’re miles away from the first team.
“These boys are much closer to the first team than previous years.”