Dundee’s Paul McGowan is backing former team-mate James McPake to shine in the dugout tomorrow and says he can be the man to bring the “stability” the club sorely needs.
The Dark Blues finish off what has been a woeful Premiership season tomorrow at home to St Mirren with caretaker boss McPake in charge following Sunday’s sacking of Jim McIntyre.
Though McGowan is glad to see the back of this campaign, he’s pleased to see McPake being given the opportunity to lead the team.
McGowan said: “It’s been a horrible season for everyone involved with the club.
“It’s one of these things that have happened and we need a bit of stability, need to appoint someone quickly and move forward.
“It’s been horrible, we’ve let the fans down, let ourselves down.
“I’ve had enough of the cliches – it’s just been rubbish from the start of the season.
“It’s been pathetic the way we’ve bowed out and been relegated.
“The club have backed managers and it’s not worked but that brings a turnover of players.
“The new manager wants new players and that disrupts the changing-room.
“If James gets the job – and why not – then it’s a freshness coming in, get somebody with a bit of experience to help him and get the club moving forward again.
“Then we can start enjoy playing football again because nobody is enjoying it right now.”
McGowan knows McPake better than most having worked with him since they both arrived in the summer of 2014 and is aware of how difficult it was for the defender to have to retire early through injury.
“James is a winner,” McGowan added.
“You want to win every game and St Mirren will come here and make it tough for us, no doubt.
“They want to win and will bring a good crowd.
“I’m excited for him because he has went through a lot over the years.
“I’ve been with him since day one at the club and I’ve seen him through his worst time but I’m glad he’s getting this chance.
“And I hope he gets the chance to get the job full-time because the club have tried everything so a fresh approach might be needed.
“You can see he works his socks off, he’s got everything ready in training, stuff like that.
“I’m excited for him and hope he does himself justice.”
Whoever is charged with the task of getting the Dark Blues back to the Premiership at the first time of asking, McGowan knows they have a big job on their hands.
In his time at Dens Park, he has seen three managers come and go in Paul Hartley, Neil McCann and Jim McIntyre, and McGowan has warned the new gaffer how difficult life will be in the second tier.
The turnover of players in his time has been remarkable, too – something he says needs to change at Dundee.
“Cammy Kerr was the only one already here when I arrived, Darren O’Dea came in not long after.
“That’s part of football but when it happens year on year it’s not good.
“That’s not John Nelms’ fault – he backs the manager he puts in charge which is fair enough but the club need a bit of stability to move forward.
“Whoever gets it, it’ll be a big rebuilding job because we only have a few players contracted to next year.”
He added: “I’ve never played in the Championship but, by all accounts, it’s tough.
“You can see Dundee United have struggled. I think Ross County did it the right way by keeping a core of their players and it was even hard for them to get over the line so that shows just how tough it will be.
“That’s why we need a good group of boys in, a bit of experience as well with a bit of youth and go to win that league.”