James McPake spoke of his honour on being unveiled as Dundee’s latest new manager yesterday, before revealing his excitement about being potentially joined by Gordon Strachan as technical director at Dens Park.

McPake succeeded Jim McIntyre who was sacked in the wake of their relegation from the Premiership before the end of last season, and becomes the Tayside club’s fourth manager in just two years with current Northern Ireland assistant Jimmy Nicholl leaving St Mirren to assist him in his first managerial role.

The 34-year-old former defender, whose playing career was cut short due to a serious knee injury sustained back in January 2016, was appointed ahead of Alloa’s Jim Goodwin as he focuses on attempting to propel them back to the top tier of Scottish Football next season.


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McPake was previously reserve team coach at Dens prior to being made caretaker manager for their final top-flight fixture of the season against St Mirren, so admits he would warmly welcome having the benefit of former Celtic and Scotland manager Strachan’s vast experience in an advisory role.

“I’m honoured and privileged to be in this position,” said McPake.

“It probably sounds a wee bit cheesy and daft, but if I had to pick a job where I was to start off as a manager it would be here with the history I’ve got.

“It’s been a long three weeks although I can also understand what the club have done and the process they’ve gone through.

“But still I had to work away in the background, get targets in place and meet people.


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“From the Sunday when John (Nelms) phoned me before the St Mirren game, I’ve acted like manager, because regardless of what was going to happen I knew I had to do that.

“The work starts now and it will be full-on. But would I change it? Absolutely not. I can’t wait to get started and I’m excited.”

McPake made a point of drawing on Strachan’s years of knowledge even before he landed the post, and hopes talks with Dundee Managing Director John Nelms this weekend can see him formally installed.

“I would love it to happen but I still think the relationship is there where I can go to him,” said McPake.

“It was there before and knowing Gordon I know he wants to help young coaches and managers.

“You go on the phone and ask him his opinion on something and you come off and he has told you another 15 different things you did not even know or ask him.


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“He is so enthusiastic and so helpful. If you have that enthusiasm you have to use it.

“To be able to call people like that up is a privilege. It’s weird because you can put anything to him and he will have an answer.

“Jimmy Nicholl is the same and his experience will be massive to me.”

Meanwhile, Nelms thanked Strachan for his support as he endeavours to secure the 62-year-old’s services on a permanent basis.

“Gordon Strachan and I are working on a few things,” confirmed Nelms.

“He gave us some really good advice. He doesn’t say do this or do that, he just asks do we feel this is right or wrong, shows us how to look at things.

‘He’s given up hours of his time to us. It’s been fantastic. But five or six others are doing that, as well.


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“We’re looking at certain items. It’s a bigger thing than we initially started with.

“So there are a lot of logistics in what we’re trying to do.

“We’re still working on all of those details. I don’t want to get ahead of myself.

‘There are certain things we’re working on.

‘But he (Strachan) would be fantastic for this football club – he’d be fantastic for any football club.

‘He’s got a love and a passion and a very unique view of the game, which would be very helpful to us.”