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07 June 2021

James McPake wants to end Dundee’s yo-yo status after agreeing new deal

07 June 2021

James McPake has vowed to redouble his efforts to ensure Dundee’s Premiership return is not a fleeting one-season visit.

The promotion-winning Dens boss James McPake has been rewarded with a new rolling contract having successfully steered the club back to the top flight.

The Dark Blues’ two-year stint in the Championship was ended when McPake’s side stunned Kilmarnock in the play-off final.

But having swapped places with Tommy Wright’s team, McPake knows the real challenge is to ensure Dundee do not slide straight back down.

The former Dees defender – who is now heading into his third year as manager – said: “I’m delighted, first and foremost to be back in the Premiership, it has been a collective effort but we are obviously delighted to have our futures sorted as well.

“Delighted it’s all been agreed and I think it’s just another part of what we are all trying to do. I’m delighted the club have committed and myself and Dave have committed.

“It’s good to sign a new contract with the club but the hard work has already begun as we need to now become a competitive Premiership side.

“There have been bumps in the road and we knew there would be but we kept working and believed in the work. We know the players believed in the work and that showed over the play-offs.

“We need to continue to get better and become a sustained Premiership club. It’s our job now to build a squad and we know we’ll have to work even harder to progress in the top flight.”

McPake has also paid a glowing tribute to his number two Dave Mackay, who has also signed a new deal.

“His role is probably more important than anyone can imagine apart from those that are in the club day in day out,” said McPake.

“Everybody at the club knows how hard he works and how much of an input he has. To have him at my side is pivotal to any success.

“Dave has been a huge part of any success we have had, the players know that and the staff certainly know that. Most of all it’s me that knows that.

“He is more than an assistant, I’ve known him for 16 years, he is a good person first and foremost and has a great football brain. He’s played as big a part as anybody in getting the club promoted.”

Managing Director John Nelms insists the managerial duo are the perfect pairing to cut the strings on Dundee’s yo-yo club status.

“When we chose James as manager back in 2019 it was the work that we saw him put in place with the Under-18s and reserve teams that convinced us he was ready to make the step up,” he said.

“The last two years have shown that he could transfer those skills into a first-team environment and get results. This has been particularly impressive over the last year with the backdrop of a global pandemic and the challenges that came with it.

“We are delighted to commit our trust and backing in James and Dave, who as a team, have helped restore pride in the club and also returned us to the Premiership.

“It’s been a collective effort with James and Dave at the forefront, and we are excited to see them lead us back into the top division next season and progress from there.”

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