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13 October 2021

James McPake says dispute over bonuses at Dundee ‘not really a distraction’

13 October 2021

James McPake is adamant that the dispute over bonuses between Dundee’s players and board is not affecting the team on the pitch.

Reports emerged last week that the squad were locked in a feud with managing director John Nelms about win bonuses for league and cup competitions.

Manager McPake played down the issue, claiming he experienced similar situations in his own playing days.

McPake, who expects the row to be resolved soon, insists it has had no bearing on the fact Dundee have not won any of their opening eight cinch Premiership games.

He said: “It’s not really a distraction. A story came out when there were no games but I can say confidently, because I’ve been a captain before, that this has gone on at every club I’ve been at.

“Look, it will be sorted. This club are very fair. Ideally you want it sorted before the first game of the season but I don’t think I’ve been at a club where it has been sorted and everybody happy with it by then.

“It’s not distracted them. It’s not the reason they were so poor against St Johnstone. There are a number of things you can look at for that such as the tactics or the way we played before you could even look at bonuses. I don’t think that’s what motivates this group of players, certainly.

“They went into the play-offs recently not knowing what their bonus would be and that didn’t affect them. They sailed through them and they got rewarded. This will be fixed. I’m being genuine, it’s not an issue.

“I’ve been in the same situation before that the players are in now. I’ve had it at Hibs, Coventry and Livingston and it always gets sorted. It’s just unfortunate that (the story) came out but that’s the way of the world just now.”

McPake is hoping to have former Scotland duo Leigh Griffiths and Charlie Adam back in contention after injury for this Saturday evening’s match at home to Aberdeen.

He said: “Both are progressing well and looking good. We have to be cautious with them because, particularly with those two players, when we get them back we need them back to stay. We’ll make a decision on Friday or Saturday with regard to the risk and reward of playing them.

“You miss players like that but you’ve got to rally round when they’re out. There’s been some decent performances without them but those decent performances can become winning performances if you’ve got Charlie Adam and Leigh Griffiths in your team. I don’t think anybody could deny that.

“I’d be lying if I stood here and said it didn’t matter how fit they are or that we’ve got a good enough squad that we don’t need them. Those two are key players at this level and we could be doing with them being fit.”

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