Dundee 3-2 St Johnstone: Things fall into place for Dee boss Neil McCann

Dundee manager Neil McCann
Dundee manager Neil McCann feels his young team will develop across the season

Neil McCann expressed his satisfaction that after a frustrating start to the season things clicked into place for his Dundee team as they inflicted defeat on Tayside rivals St Johnstone.

"It's three points that we've been searching to find," said Dee manager after the 3-2 win at Dens Park.

"A lot of our play probably deserved a lot more rewards than we have managed to achieve this season.

"But I felt today we matched a team that has shown a level of consistency."

The win lifts Dundee from the foot of the Premiership to ninth place on four points, above Ross County on goal difference and two points clear of Partick Thistle and Kilmarnock.

A-Jay Leitch-Smith scored a goal in each half to put the Dark Blues in control before Liam Craig slotted home a penalty for St Johnstone.

Saints defender Steven Anderson rose to nod in what looked like an equaliser but Alan Muir ruled it out for a foul on his marker.

And almost immediately Dundee moved 3-1 in front when Sofien Moussa scored from the penalty spot after Leitch-Smith was fouled, though they had to hang on when Darren O'Dea was sent off and Craig converted a second Saints penalty.

"They are a really good side but I felt we were in control of the match throughout," McCann told BBC Scotland.

"We made it difficult for ourselves, clearly, but it was a thoroughly deserved three points. I am delighted with the boys. I asked them to go toe to toe and go man for man.

"There was no fear, we played out from the back at times, when the crowd don't really like it.

Tommy Wright exchanges words with referee Alan Muir
Tommy Wright exchanges words with referee Alan Muir at the end of the match

"We've been creating lots of chances but not taking them.

"A-Jay is a different kind of striker to what we have at the club. Today you can see the threat. It was a poacher's goal for the first, a terrific finish for the second and then he goes and wins a penalty, so a brilliant performance, but to a man I thought we were excellent today.

"Our fans have been just waiting on a performance that bears out a result. We have seen great performances that got nothing. They saw a young side that is going to continue to develop."

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright, however, was unhappy at the officiating in a crucial 60 seconds of action 13 minutes from the end of the match.

After suffering his first league defeat this season, he said: "The game changes in a minute, for me. Ando's (Anderson's) goal - all he's done is get up early. It's a great header.

"And from where I was, it looked like the lad's went shoulder to shoulder with Richard (Foster) and Richard's nicked the ball and he's given a penalty kick.

"I think that was a huge turning point.

"The fact that he's given us two penalties doesn't take away from the fact that that minute has cost us the game.

"He let a lot go that didn't please me. I don't think he maybe had control of the game but we've got to do better ourselves.

"We were poor at certainly two of their goals. I still think we can play better. I think a few of us were disappointing today."