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Dundee boss James McPake will continue with softly, softly approach to teenager’s development

Fin Robertson made his Dundee debut as a 16-year-old.
Fin Robertson made his Dundee debut as a 16-year-old.

Dundee boss James McPake admits that while teenage sensation Finlay Robertson just wants to play football, the club will carefully continue to manage his development.

The 16-year-old has been a virtual ever-present for the Dark Blues this season, producing a succession of dominant displays in the centre of the park that have belied his young years.

However, McPake decided to take Robertson out of the starting line-up for the last game against Arbroath at Dens.

Now though, having recharged his batteries during the international break, the youngster will come back into contention for Saturday’s match with Partick.

McPake said: “It was a tough one (leaving Robertson out) as any time he plays, he is good.

“I am not looking for times to leave him out, I judge it on a lot of things.

“For a 16-year-old, he covers a lot of ground in training and does the same in games.

“When you add in the expectation of playing for your boyhood club week in, week out and having to perform consistently which he has, for a 16-year-old, it is a lot.

“But Fin comes back into contention this week.”

McPake added: “I have seen a wee spark from him in training again. Fin is great and always wants to learn.

“He asks Graham (Dorrans) Jamie (Ness), Shaun (Byrne), whoever it may be, questions all the time.

“You have to drag him off the training pitch. He is the ideal young footballer that you are trying to coach as he is always wanting to get better.

“He isn’t interested in playing an Xbox or whatever – he just wants to play football and that’s great.

“But we need to manage it as he left school not even six months ago.

“So for him to go and play in the likes of high-pressure TV games is great.”

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