James McPake says he was annoyed by constant questions over the absence of Dundee captain Charlie Adam earlier this season.
The Dark Blues skipper had to be patient on his return from Covid-19 and take a place on the bench as the team’s form took off.
At Dunfermline, despite the club searching for a winner, Adam was an unused sub and rumours began of a fall-out between the player and manager.
The Dens boss brought up that rumour personally in a press conference to address the issue.
Adam admits he did search out reasons for his absence from the side from McPake at the time.
Speaking to the Athletic, he said: “Dundee is a small city and I heard someone ask if we had a falling-out but we had a conversation like a manager and player should.
“I went to see him when I wasn’t playing to have an explanation and I got one. That’s how it should be.
“There is a trust and honesty from the manager and I have a great relationship with him. We both want what’s best for Dundee.”
Adam decision paying off
After a man of the match display for Adam in the crucial first leg of their play-off semi-final against Raith Rovers, McPake says the decision to take things slow with his key man is paying off.
Returning to the starting XI in recent weeks, the 26-times capped Scotland international led his side to key wins over Raith and Queen of the South to secure second place.
He outdid himself, however, with two superb assists for Jordan McGhee in Kirkcaldy on Wednesday night before sending Max Anderson away to lay on a third goal for Osman Sow.
It was a performance McPake says makes him proud to be Adam’s manager.
“Questions have been asked about why he wasn’t in the team and it annoyed me,” the Dundee boss said.
“You’ve got to look at the time he’s had since he came back up the road.
“You could see his celebration when the third goal went in (on Wednesday) – this club means the world to him.
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“Unfortunately he lost a parent and then had a really bad spell with Covid.
“There were questions at Inverness about why he wasn’t on from the start in that game. He was working up to a level and I think we saw that on Wednesday.
“I think it was the right decision. Charlie thought it was the right decision.
“We were on a good run, then, too.
“For everything he gives you and everything he’s got, he’s a human being who takes knocks. And he’s had a couple of horrendous knocks this year.
“To perform like that on Wednesday, I’m delighted for him. This club means the world to him and he’s as big a fan as I know.
“I’m proud of him and proud of all my players.”