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  1. Paul Hartley was the man who brought McPake to Dens Park in the summer of 2014 as he prepared the Dee for their Premiership arrival but now, he will face off against his old gaffer as Dundee hope to build on Saturdays 3-0 victory over Raith Rovers. Despite now being managerial rivals, McPake is thankful that recently appointed Cove Rangers boss Hartley helped him get started on the road with coaching. “I liked the way he worked. He was unfortunate here, I think," said McPake. “The second season we finished seventh in the league and we were probably better than what we were the season before when we finished sixth. He had us going well here and it was unfortunate the way it ended, but he’s someone I really liked. “I was grateful. He was the one who got me into coaching. Well, not got me in, but gave me a head start. If Paul hadn’t done that then I wouldn’t be sitting here, that’s for sure. Knowing Paul, he wants to work and he takes on projects. “He’ll want to get them up through the leagues. That’s what will motivate him. He’s a hard worker and he will do well there.”
  2. Source: The Evening Telegraph Dundee boss Paul Hartley reckons his side have got to take the rough with the smooth. The Dark Blues have taken some criticism for their performance in the 2-0 defeat to St Johnstone, which kicked off their post-split top-six charge in less-than-convincing fashion. The most vociferous critic was the gaffer himself post-match, who tagged it their “worst performance of the season, by far”. But rather than dwell on the negatives, Paul hopes his players can take inspiration from it. They’ve been happy to accept the praise when it’s come their way. And Paul says his players should have broad enough shoulders to take less kind words. “We’ve got to be constructive about the criticism,” he said. “As a team, we’ve taken plenty of plaudits this season from everyone — it works both ways, though. “The players, more than anyone, are disappointed with their performance. “They know it really was poor. “But we’ve not had many days like that this season. “There’s no getting away from it, though — St Johnstone were better than us on Saturday. “We wanted to try to close the gap on the teams above us but we fell short on the day.” Having done so well to exceed expectations and claim themselves a top-six finish for the first time since the days of Julian Speroni, Fabian Caballero and Georgi Nemsadze back in 2003, Dundee are now facing up to a totally different task. Having climbed their own Everest, the Dark Blues are going to have to do it all again to make sure their season doesn’t fizzle out. Paul has tasked his players to make the next four games of the season count. He fears if they don’t it’s a hangover that can be hard to shake. “We want to make the next four games count,” he said. “There’s pride to play for as well as league places. “We want to make sure we go into next season with a good mentality, not on a losing run. However, we have a tough run of games.”
  3. Dundee boss Paul Hartley admits Saturday was his side’s worst performance of the season. The Dark Blues never really got going at Dens Park at the weekend as Europa League hopefuls St Johnstone ran out comfortable 2-0 winners. And Paul confessed that it was the lowest his players have sunk, in what has otherwise been an impressive campaign. The gaffer said: “That was our worst performance of the season, by far. “We didn’t have any spark, any energy and there was absolutely no tempo to our play. “We had no cutting edge and the players looked really leggy. “That’s just not like them at all. They have been terrific of late but their performance dropped.� Not usually one to look for excuses, Paul was keen to get away from the idea that the midweek fixture against Celtic may well have taken something out of his side. However, he did admit it may have had some bearing but that should have been balanced out by the fact he made three changes to the starting XI from the Hoops visit. When asked whether the defeat to Ronny Deila’s men took it out of the Dark Blues, he said: “Maybe it did but I don’t want to make that an excuse. “If you look at it, we freshened things up in the side as we felt we had to. “Overall, though, that was as bad as we have been this season. I was disappointed with the performance from the players.� Paul says from one to 11 his squad were just not good enough on the day. But he admits he was particularly disappointed by the dismissal of Greg Stewart for two bookable offences. But rather than round on Craig Thomson for flashing the cards, he wasn’t happy with his striker going down “easily� for his second yellow, which was adjudged as a dive by the man in the middle. “I think he has went down too easily,� said Paul. “I think it’s a sending off to be honest. “For that reason we will not be appealing it but we are disappointed with it. “When you are on a yellow card, you should not go over that easily. “He is a key player for us and he will miss one game and maybe two.�
  4. Dundee have confirmed that manager Paul Hartley has signed a new three year contract. The former Alloa boss has secured a top six finish for the Dark Blues in their first season back in the Premiership and Dundee have a chance of overtaking city rivals Dundee United and Tayside neighbours St Johnstone to claim fourth place, which may mean European football next year. A Dundee statement read: “Dundee FC are delighted to announce that manager Paul Hartley has signed a new three year deal with the club. “Paul has been with us for just over a year and the club has enjoyed enormous success during his time in charge. “During his first few months at the helm Paul guided the team to the SPFL Championship title and just last weekend the club clinched a top six place in the SPFL Premiership; our first top half finish in the top flight in 12 years. “Paul’s hard work is a key reason we sit where we do today and we look forward to many more years of success under his guidance. We are already building for the future and planning for next season and beyond is well underway. “The Board of Directors and Paul have a shared vision of where we want Dundee FC to be and the entire football club is delighted that Paul has put pen to paper on this extended deal.” Source: The Courier
  5. Source: The Courier Dundee boss Paul Hartley says the club will stand by midfielder Paul McGowan whatever happens at his sentencing for assaulting a police officer next month. McGowan (27) is facing the prospect of a prison sentence after admitting behaving in a threatening manner and assaulting PC Jamie White at a house in his home town of Airdrie in the early hours of November 23, 2014. However, his manager showed faith in the player on Saturday by selecting him in his starting line-up for the 1-1 draw with Aberdeen and insists McGowan has shown remorse following his third conviction for police assault. “I sense regret from Paul, he’s had a fright,†Hartley commented. “He’s an age where he needs to grow up and he knows that. We will stand by him 100%. That (jail) is the worst case scenario for us, we’re hoping it won’t be. “You can’t control them all the time, all you can do is try to tell them how to live their life and do things right. He knows he’s working with a manager who loves him to bits and we’ll try to help him as much as we can. He’s loved by everyone here. He’s not the only person who has done things away from the football pitch. But there has come a time where he needs to grow up because you don’t get many chances. But I’ll back him 100%.†McGowan returned to Dundee’s first team just 48 hours after appearing at Airdrie Sheriff Court to plead guilty to his charge, and he is due to be sentenced next month. Despite the off-field problems though, Hartley says he had no qualms about pitching the midfielder into battle on the pitch at the weekend. “Paul is one of my best players so I was always going to pick him,†he explained. “Sometimes you can’t control what happens off the field. Having worked with Paul, he’s one of the first names on the team sheet. He’s great to work with and people don’t know his true character, he’s not a bad lad. “We have been working with him and he’s been different class on the park. His release is playing football, the lads love him and I love him. He’s committed 100% in training every day, he’s an infectious character and a lad you can’t not like.â€
  6. Source: The Evening Telegraph Preparation is key for Dundee boss Paul Hartley. Rewind to last summer and no stone went unturned in a bid to ensure this season’s return to the top flight was a success. And Paul insists things will be no different this time around as the club look to build on what he sees as a positive start to life at Premiership level. The manager admits discussions are already taking place to put in place his club’s plans for the close season, despite there being 10 games remaining of their current campaign. “Nothing has been firmed-up yet but we are still working away at next season,†said Paul. “As we speak, we are looking at preparation for the campaign — where we are going, what games we are going to get, things like that. There are plenty of possibilities for us.†The Dark Blues are right in the mix to finish in the top six but they have already pencilled in an end-of-season game with Crystal Palace, to honour former Dark Blues keeper Julian Speroni’s 10 years at Selhurst Park. That game looks to be just the start of what will be a busy summer for the club. A pre-season training camp is again in the offing. At least one match against high-profile opposition at Dens Park as well a host of other friendlies, close to home and some potentially much further afield, are also being lined up. Hungary is again a possibility, with Paul pinpointing the week-long camp on the outskirts of Budapest as one of the catalysts to a top-six charge. But there are also a number of other trips under serious consideration. The gaffer added: “We aim to go away again. We are speaking to some people just now about camps and games. Hungary is probably our No 1 choice again but we have other options. We could find ourselves going somewhere else with a few games, so we don’t know yet.†On the effect it had on his ranks ahead of this season, he said: “I think it had a positive impact. A camp where we got the players together and showed them how we work was essential. Getting them gelled as quickly was key for the season looking ahead. That will be no different this summer. “It was the perfect camp for us, probably the best I have been to. The players hit the ground running. Hopefully, we get the same again but without the big turnaround in players.†The Tele understands the Dark Blues hierarchy are in talks with an as-yet-unnamed English Premier League side, with a view to tying them down to a Dens date in late July, early August. The visit of English champions Manchester City was deemed a huge success, with the club looking to replicate that this year. But things will not end there. Dundee fans can almost certainly look forward to a few more trips down south. Games in England, similar to those at Sheffield United and Morecambe in 2014, will also be firmed-up in the coming months. Meanwhile, Dundee’s match with Aberdeen has been switched to Saturday, kick-off 12.15pm. Dons international call-ups at senior and U/21 level has seen it changed from Monday evening at short notice. The match will be shown live on BT Sport.
  7. Paul Hartley admits he would have loved to play for Scotland against England. The Dundee manager will be an interested spectator when the two sides clash tonight in a friendly at Celtic Park. However, he would have liked nothing better than to have featured for the national side against the Auld Enemy during his international playing career but he was denied the opportunity because there was a 14-year gap when the rivals did not meet. Now though, he is hoping Gordon Strachan’s present Scotland side can take up where they left off following Friday night’s thrilling Euro 2016 qualifier victory over Ireland — thanks to a cracking Shaun Maloney goal — when they meet Roy Hodgson’s England outfit. Hartley said: “I thought Scotland were excellent on Friday. “I was at the game and it was a real blood and thunder, typical British encounter but we were terrific. “It was a great goal straight off the training ground. “It was a top game with a superb atmosphere as well. I thought second half, we deserved to win it. “Our 20s have a game on Tuesday but I will watch the England match on TV. He added: “I went to Euro 96 when Paul Gascoigne scored at Wembley. I was part of the squad, one of six young helpers at the time under Craig Brown. “It was a great experience watching that game and the whole atmosphere. “I think you always want to play in a Scotland v England match but it wasn’t possible in my time. “Obviously they have brought it back in the last year or so but it is a game I would love to have played in. “So I am looking forward to watching this match against England. “It is the Auld Enemy and we want to do well but I think Friday night’s result was the more important one. “We have a really good chance of doing something. “I know how the manager works and I think he has been absolutely brilliant so far. “Having worked under him, I know how good he is.” Source: The Courier
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