Neil McCann: New Dundee boss says taking the job on a permanent basis is no 'gamble'

Neil McCann
A change of heart led to Neil McCann becoming the permanent manager of Dundee

Neil McCann insists becoming Dundee's manager on a permanent basis is not a gamble.

The 42-year-old had turned down the opportunity to stay on at the club, after guiding the Dees to Premiership safety in his five-game interim spell.

Former Dundee player McCann had indicated he would revert to his previous role as a television pundit.

"I don't see it as a gamble, I see it as a wonderful opportunity," he told BBC Scotland of his decision.

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Neil McCann: Dundee job is an opportunity not a gamble

"I was asked the same question when I took the job for five games as rookie. I didn't see it as a gamble then for myself, I came in and I did the job.

"This is different now and I love hard work, it's going to be hard work and I'm prepared to meet it head-on."

'Number one target'

McCann was appointed interim manager at Dens Park in April, winning two, drawing one, and losing two of his five post-split fixtures at the helm.

After ruling himself out of the running to take charge on a permanent basis, the club turned its attention to St Mirren manager Jack Ross, but McCann says he maintained dialogue with Dundee.

"I was fully aware of the media coverage of who was getting spoken about," he said. "I don't think Jack Ross was any surprise to me because he did a fantastic job to get St Mirren out of real trouble and he's very highly-regarded.

"But I'm pretty sure there would have been a rake of names and high-quality names looking for this job, because it's an attractive one.

Jack Ross
St Mirren's Jack Ross emerged as a target for Dundee

"But I didn't get involved. I didn't speak to the chairman about the other candidates; I knew there would be strong possibilities there for the club to go down but they always made me feel that I was number one target and I was their choice - that sort of remained constant.

"So when I thought long and hard about it and had another conversation about taking this forward, I was met with an absolute vote of yes."

'Recruitment will be crucial'

The former Dundee, Hearts and Rangers winger succeeded Paul Hartley at Dens Park, with the club languishing in second-bottom position in the Premiership after a run of seven straight defeats.

Paul Hartley
Dundee sacked McCann's predecessor Paul Hartley after a run of seven straight defeats

McCann, who has yet to decide who to appoint as his assistant, insists there is a vital summer of preparation and recruitment required to avoid similar troubles next season.

"I'm quite pleased with what I have at my disposal," he said. "Recruitment will be crucial.

"It's up to me to make lots of phone calls and the players I go for and target, I need to make them believe this is the place to play their football.

"I want to mould a side that is competitive and capable of winning games."

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