Dundee boss James McPake says the whole club is grieving with Charlie Adam after the sad passing of his mum Ellie this week.
And the feeling among the players and staff is they “owe” him a performance and victory at Queen of the South on Saturday.
Adam is struggling with a thigh injury but McPake says he wouldn’t be surprised if the former Scotland man shrugged off that problem as well as this most horrible of weeks to turn out for Dundee at Palmerston on Saturday such is his strength of character.
McPake said: “First and foremost we have to send our deepest condolences to Charlie and his family.
Sadly 3 months ago mum was diagnosed with Bowel and liver cancer. After being taken into hospital 10 days ago mum passed away peacefully at home. RIP mum you were an incredible woman and I am going to miss you so much 💔 pic.twitter.com/eb13F2iOTH
— Charlie Adam (@Charlie26Adam) December 22, 2020
“What he has done over the past two or three weeks to even go out and play knowing how his mother was is a credit to him as a person.
“It shows the character he has. He has shown real grit and desire.
“I can’t speak highly enough of him as a man for what he has done as it has not been easy for him.
‘Charlie has been holding his family together’
“It is hard for me even to speak about watching someone I have worked with for a couple of months now suffering like that.
“He has been holding his family together and leading the team on the pitch as well.
“So massive credit to Charlie and our deepest sympathies go out to him and his family.”
Adam revealed the sad news of his mother’s passing due to cancer on social media on Tuesday night, putting last weekend’s remarkable display against Dunfermline into perspective.
McPake added: “He didn’t want everyone to know what he was going through but we had a couple of conversations and he was determined to go out and play for his mum and for his dad.
“The levels he got to and the way he dragged the team is huge credit to Charlie and probably the way his mum and dad brought him up.
“Since the minute he walked in the door, he has been nothing but the ultimate professional.
“He is a joy to work with and a joy to coach. No disrespect to us but he has come in from clubs who are much bigger than Dundee like Liverpool.
‘The hurt we’re feeling as a club is for Charlie and his family’
“He has come in and is buying into what we are trying to do and he is wanting to learn.
“But the biggest thing we have seen over the last couple of weeks is Charlie Adam the person and just how strong a character he is.
“It is hard for me to put into words the admiration I have for him and what he has done over the last couple of weeks.
“He is our player and we will give him all the support he needs.
“The hurt we are feeling as a football club is for Charlie and his family.
“It has been a terrible couple of weeks for him but he wanted to play. He even got a phone call when we were up at Inverness saying things might not be right. We asked if he wanted to go down the road but he wanted to play.
“He was great up there as well.
“My admiration for the man couldn’t be any higher.”
The Dens boss knows – and has stated many times – there are more important things than football.
However, he and the rest of the Dundee squad are determined to do whatever they can to help Charlie during this time.
And McPake says the Dark Blues are determined to show what Adam means to them by putting on a performance and coming home with three points from Queen of the South on Boxing Day.
“I think we owe him that,” McPake added.
“We are a close-knit group and I think you saw that with the celebration at Charlie’s goal (against Dunfermline).
“When it comes to a situation like this, we owe something to him.
“So on Saturday, let’s go out and do it for Charlie.”
Asked whether his thigh injury would keep Adam out of the trip to Palmerston, McPake replied: “If Charlie tells me he is fit and he wants to play, then 100% he is in my team regardless of how much he has trained this week.
“That’s a big statement to make three days before a game but he is that strong minded and willed that he will know himself if he is ready to play.
“I know he will be doing everything he can because the one thing you do see when he scores goals is his celebration and deep down he knows now he is doing that for two people who are looking down on him.
“He is doing his mum and dad proud.”