Dundee: Alex Rae says staying up is key as club look for new manager

Marcus Haber
Dundee are in the relegation play-off place and five points off the automatic demotion spot

Former Dundee manager Alex Rae says keeping the club in the Scottish Premiership is "paramount" as they seek to appoint a new boss.

Paul Hartley, 40, was sacked on Monday after seven straight defeats left the Dark Blues second bottom of the league.

And Rae, 47, expects there to be "plenty of takers" for the vacancy, adding that he would be interested.

"They made the decision on the back of what the ramifications would be if they get relegated," Rae told BBC Scotland.

"They'll need to get someone in quickly who knows the level, who is going to try and galvanise the boys going into the post-split.

Alex Rae
Rae has been out of management since leaving St Mirren in September

"Paul's obviously done a decent job, he managed to get promotion out of the Championship, a top-six finish as well. He's had a good stint.

"It's been a tough year for him, having lost his two heavy hitters in the summer - Kane Hemmings and [Greg] Stewart.

"They need to focus on the short term now, survival is paramount for them."

Stubbs in the frame?

Rae was manager at Dundee between 2006 and 2008 while the club were in the second tier, having been relegated in 2005. They were back in the Scottish Premier League for the 2012-13 season but were demoted again.

Former Alloa Athletic boss and one-time Dundee midfielder Hartley replaced John Brown at Dens Park in February 2014. He led the side to Championship title success, and a top-six place in their first season back in the rebranded Premiership, followed by an eighth-placed finish last term.

Goals and wins have been harder to come by for Dundee this season following the departures of forwards Hemmings and Stewart in the summer transfer window.

Alan Stubbs with the Scottish Cup
Rae expects Alan Stubbs to be linked with Dundee after he led Hibernian to Scottish Cup success

The Premiership splits in two for its final five rounds of fixtures - the first of which has Dundee scheduled to visit Motherwell on 29 April, with the Dark Blues five points above Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

The side finishing bottom will be relegated and the 11th-placed team will face one of the Championship's top sides in the Premiership play-off final.

Rae expects Hartley to "bounce back" and said of the current squad: "There's some decent players.

"It is a fabulous club, Dundee. There'll be plenty of takers [for the manager's job]. Of that I'm certain. You tend to find that applications for this are substantial - 50, 60, 70 applications for a job like Dundee.

"Alan [Stubbs] will obviously be one of the names [linked with the job] for what he did, having won the Scottish Cup last year with Hibs."

And, when asked if he would be interested in a return to Dens Park, former St Mirren boss Rae replied: "I'm not exactly sure what they're looking for but if it was an opportunity for me to get back into the game I would jump at the chance."

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