Dundee boss James McPake says it’s a credit to the club they have extended the deals of out-of-contract players amid the coronavirus shutdown.
The club announced on Monday they were triggering a one-year extension clause in wing-back Christie Elliott’s contract as well as topping up Paul McGowan, Josh Meekings and Tom Field’s deals until the end of June.
Those three first-team players were facing being out of contract at the start of next month with football clubs up and down the country struggling for income.
And McPake reckons it’s a measure of how people are treated at Dens Park with players being released elsewhere.
He said: “We’ve stopped on a few things in the shutdown because we just don’t know what is going to happen.
“But I do like the way the club have handled the situation, it’s fantastic and I wasn’t expecting anything different to be done. I’ve been in this club six years now and see the way they treat people.
“With Christie, the option was there and he had done really well. It was a no-brainer that one.
“The other lads getting an extension is a credit to the club and I think the club should be applauded for doing that. They have shown how to act towards staff.
“Paul McGowan has been my best player this season alongside Jordan McGhee. We have extended his deal to the end of June because of the situation as it is.
“The players understand that, we understand that and certainly John Nelms and Tim Keyes understand that.
“It’s been good to get it done, though, and the players seem happy with it.”
Had there been more certainty over when play will resume after the Covid-19 shutdown, the Dens gaffer admits the club would have been looking at longer-term deals.
“Christie’s was a bit different because there was an extension clause in the contract when we agreed it but in normal times, yeah we would want to extend their deals,” McPake added.
“Paul McGowan speaks for himself, how he’s done at the club, is our Player of the Year and brings consistency to the club week in, week out.
“You look back through all the managers and some will leave him out but Paul always gets himself back in the team and is always one of the highest appearances at the end of the season which shows the trust every manager at this club has had in him.
“I think Meeks had been showing the Josh Meekings we had been crying out to see. His injuries had been affecting him and I think it went under the radar a bit how big a part he played in our good run at the end of the season.
“It’s great to get him back to a level where his fitness was good. Speaking about those two, absolutely delighted.”
In terms of new signings, of course that will have to wait, but that’s unlikely to stop the club being linked with players.
Former Dundee United favourite Danny Swanson was released by St Johnstone last week and, though McPake admits his name was mentioned earlier in the year, he’s not a transfer target at Dens.
“He was a name that was put to us and a player obviously (first-team coach) Dave Mackay knows very well but, at the minute, he’s not one we are pursuing.
“Any name put to us, we look into but it never got anywhere. I wish him well wherever he ends up but it won’t be at Dundee.”
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