Managerial change

McGhee installed at Dundee after McPake sacked

New Dens boss: Mark McGhee (pic: SNS Group)

Former Aberdeen and Motherwell manager Mark McGhee was appointed manager at Dundee today after the Dens Park club sacked manager James McPake.

McGhee is serving a touchline suspension incurred towards the end of his stint at Motherwell five years ago, so he is set to watch Sunday’s match against Celtic from the press box. 

He is close to Dundee technical director and fellow ex-Dons player Gordon Strachan and is a former number two to the national team. He has been out of work since October after leaving Stockport County, where he was assistant manager.

McPake, 37, was relieved of his duties despite winning his last two matches, including a 2-1 league victory at Hearts. He took over as caretaker in 2019 and led them to promotion last year via the play-offs.

McPake’s final game was Monday’s 3-0 Scottish Cup last-16 defeat of Peterhead which set up a quarter-final home tie with Rangers. The club’s next league game is at Celtic on Sunday.

Sacked: James McPake

He began his playing career with Livingston and also played for Greenock Morton, Coventry City and Hibernian before retiring through injury while with Dundee. He earned one cap for Northern Ireland.

The club said they had said they had “taken the decision to release James McPake from the duties of his position of manager”.

“It is clear that without James’ leadership the club would still be in the Championship, and for that reason, the decision to release him was not arrived at easily,” their statement added.

“However, at this time the club must look to a manager with additional experience with the aim of preserving James’ legacy and our place in the Premiership.

“It is without a doubt that someone who has achieved so much in such a short amount of time will go on to continue achieving remarkable things, and for this James has our unequivocal support and endorsement.

“We are proud to have given James his first steps in management and beyond proud of his accomplishments. He is, and will always remain, a valued and loved member of the Dundee FC family.”

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