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EXCLUSIVE: Dundee midfielder Shaun Byrne says Paul McGowan’s expletive-ridden rant has had an effect

Shaun Byrne in action for Dundee at Easter Road.
Shaun Byrne in action for Dundee at Easter Road.

Midfielder Shaun Byrne says Paul McGowan’s expletive-ridden outburst has had a positive effect on the Dundee squad.

Now he says they have to turn that into results.

The Dark Blues face second-bottom Arbroath at Dens Park on Saturday knowing only three points will ease the pressure on them after a poor start to the campaign.

Leaders Dunfermline are already eight points ahead of James McPake’s side after just five games after a dreadful 2-0 defeat in Ayr last time out.

That prompted McGowan to lay into the squad’s performances this season using words like “horrible”, “pathetic” and saying there were “passengers” in the Dundee team.

Since then the Dee put on an improved performance at Premiership Hibs in the Betfred Cup but still came out with a defeat.

And Byrne knows they’ll have to start adding to the win column before long.

He said: “Ayr was obviously bitterly disappointing.

“There were a few home truths told and I think that worked – these things needed to be said.

“I know Gowser came out and said some things, there was also a lot said in the changing-room as well that needed said.

“We’re letting the club down, letting the manager down.

Paul McGowan gave a ruthless assessment of Dundee’s season after defeat at Ayr.

“He’s working tirelessly to do well here but it’s us going out on the park and we’re the ones conceding silly goals, stupid mistakes.

“Every one of us, as a team, are determined to put things right and start climbing the table.

“You look at the games, we beat Morton 1-0 then should have won the Raith game, could have had a penalty against Alloa in the last minute, so it’s fine margins that aren’t going for us.

“But we have full belief in the changing-room.

“Everybody is working their nuts off to turn this around.

“I’m sure we will – if we can produce performances like we did at Easter Road every week we’ll start seeing positive results.”

Shaun Byrne strides away from Joe Newell before being brought down.

Byrne has been a bright light in the middle of the park on what has been a dreary season so far at Dens Park.

The former Livingston man has shown why Dundee worked so hard to get his signature on a three-year deal – with the option of an extension – last summer.

The 27-year-old played 29 times for James McPake’s side last term but has been impressive since the restart and once again was a standout against Premiership Hibs.

In the first half at Easter Road, a delightfully cheeky nutmeg on Joe Newell before a 50-yard run with the ball that earned a free-kick 25 yards out epitomised the performance.

Asked about the nutmeg, Byrne replied with a broad grin: “I’ve got that in the locker…

“Personally I’m getting where I want to be and I’m feeling really confident going into games but I’d rather be playing well with the team winning.

“On a personal note I’m really happy.

“I want to keep building on performances and be as consistent as I can, hopefully keep playing well.”

Byrne is doing his part in improving the club’s fortunes and says repeats of the team display shown at Hibs will see Dundee back on track in the Championship promotion race.

“The performance was night and day from the Ayr game and even from other games earlier in the season,” he said.

“We’re gutted to lose but that’s the standard we need in every game.

“We were playing a top Premiership club and I think people watching wouldn’t have known which team was in the top division.

“That’s what we need every week. It is something to build on.

Hibernian’s Martin Boyle is brought down by Shaun Byrne in the 1-0 win for Hibs at Easter Road.

“Saturday was also the first time in a good few weeks that we had a lot of options on the bench.

“Once we get our squad back and pick up confidence, get that win to get us going again, I’m sure we’ll have a really good season.

“With a couple of wins, the look of things will be totally different.

“We’re only five games in and I know it is a shorter season but we have plenty of time to turn this around.

“We are really positive going into Saturday that we can get that win but we need a performance like we showed against Hibs every single week so we can start climbing the table.”


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