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James McPake insists ‘the better team lost’ in Dundee’s 1-0 defeat to Motherwell as he responds to Leigh Griffiths speculation

Frustrated James McPake at Fir Park.
Frustrated James McPake at Fir Park.

Dundee boss James McPake says the “better team lost” after seeing his side come out on the wrong side of a 1-0 scoreline at Motherwell.

Taking revenge for their Premier Sports Cup defeat at Dens Park a fortnight ago, the Steelmen grabbed all three points thanks to a first-half Tony Watt header.

Despite the Dark Blues dominating much of the contest, the defeat leaves McPake’s men still searching for their first league victory of the season.

“We should have won the game,” said the Dens gaffer.

“We created enough chances and were very fluent, particularly in the first half, causing them lots of problems.

“Before the game, we did say their biggest threat is set-pieces, that’s what it proved today.

Dundee foil Tony Watt.

“I’m really disappointed with the goal but I’m extremely proud of what the players gave. On another day we could have won that game pretty comfortably.

“The better team lost that game but it doesn’t matter, Motherwell have the points. Fair play to them.”

Charlie Adam

Dundee lost Charlie Adam to a groin injury in the opening period with Motherwell opening the scoring just a few minutes later.

McPake, though, insists it wasn’t losing his influential skipper that led to conceding the goal.

“Charlie going off wasn’t the reason they scored but I think the break helped them,” he added.

“At that point it was attack after attack. Charlie wouldn’t have stopped the goal.

Adam gets treatment.

“It was a poor goal for us to lose. We did a lot of work on set-plays but I think the break let them get their breath back.

“What I will say, the players left nothing out there again. I’ve been booed off this pitch after losing but the fans showed appreciation to the players.

“We will get a couple of niggles back with Jordan Marshall and Alex Jakubiak to come back into the group – those are two players who would have made a big difference to us.

“We’re not that far away.”

Leigh Griffiths

Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths

McPake confirmed the club were looking to make additions to their squad before the end of the transfer window on Tuesday night.

The Dark Blues have been heavily linked with a sensational return for Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths.

The Dundee boss, however, wouldn’t be drawn on the chances of his former Hibs team-mate arriving at Dens Park on loan.

Asked about Griffiths, McPake replied: “I’ve been linked with a move for a lot of players.

“The transfer window is ready to shut and I’ll be linked with a move for three or four others.”

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