Dundee manager James McPake has confessed he made a mistake by leaving Fin Robertson out of previous Dundee derbies.
The 17-year-old midfielder starred in the Dark Blues’ 1-1 draw with Championship leaders Dundee United at Tannadice on Friday night.
Robertson made a mockery of his tender years with an accomplished display and will have caught the eye of the group of scouts sitting in the stand.
He also provided further proof to McPake, were it needed, that he should not have dropped him for the opening derby of the season back on August 30, when United finished 6-2 winners at their own stadium, nor sat him on the bench for the 2-0 loss at Dens on November 8.
The Dundee manager explained that he had been advised not to admit he got it wrong but has instead decided to be honest.
McPake said: “I didn’t really want to come out and say this but, looking back, I probably shouldn’t have left him out of previous games.
“I have been advised not to say it because maybe you are doubting yourself but, looking back, at the time (of the first Tannadice derby) he had only played four or five games and we were coming down here.
“I took him out but I shouldn’t have done it because he has proved how consistent he can be.
“Big games don’t faze him.
“For example, he was only 16 and had just taken a Higher exam then played live on TV against St Mirren (last season). I think that was a big thing for a schoolboy.
“He then got man of the match in a Betfred Cup game against Inverness, played against Aberdeen and now he has played in his first derby at 17.
“I don’t just put guys like that out there to get plaudits as a manager. I put him out there because he is one of my better players and deserves it.
“He needs help but he is getting it.
“It has been a bit of a learning experience for Fin to have both Graham and Paul McGowan in the same midfield as him.
“Fin and Graham controlled everything that happened in the game.”
It was former Scotland international Dorrans who equalised for Dundee on Friday after Nicky Clark had fired the Tangerines ahead after just five minutes.
Understandably, Dens boss McPake was delighted with the experienced midfielder’s contribution.
He said: “It was a lovely goal.
“He has getting himself into positions where keepers are pulling off world-class saves. He has been saying himself that every keeper turns into (David) De Gea when he hits them!
“He is getting close to full fitness. His body is good and he plays 90 minutes.
“You are seeing a bit of dig, as well. There is no fear there from someone who has had two years out with a knee injury.
“I know exactly what has gone on with his knee and ankle because I have been so slose to him. Seeing him flying into that, you are hoping there is no red card but also pleased that there is no holding back and that he’s walking away from it.
“Listen, Graham Dorrans is too good for this league. That is why we are delighted to have him.”