Dundee have to show a “selfish” streak in 2022 says manager James McPake.
In doing that, they can avoid the sort of chaos that befell the Dark Blues ahead of the Boxing Day trip to Aberdeen.
That day saw a positive Covid case rule out six first-team players. With a number of injuries to contend with, Dundee were severely short of players.
They had enough to meet the SPFL’s criteria to avoid postponement but effectively faced the Dons with no substitutes, having two goalkeepers, assistant manager Dave Mackay and 17-year-old youth player Callum Lamb on the bench.
That prompted an angry McPake to call the SPFL’s decision to play the game “a disgrace”.
Those three are set to return before the Dark Blues return to action after the winter break at Livingston next Tuesday.
And McPake says it depends on the business the club do before the window shuts whether they head back out on loan or not.
Robertson returns after largely being used as a substitute at League One leaders Cove Rangers.
“Whether Fin has felt the loan spell has been a success or not, it will have done him good to get out and play,” McPake said.
“We’ve seen that with Luke Strachan (at Forfar) and Josh Mulligan, they’ve played 20-odd games each of proper football.
“They have still been training with us as well so that will certainly help them develop.
Clean sheet ✅
Super solo goal ✅#TOTW place ✅
— SPFL (@spfl) October 5, 2021
“We now need to possibly be selfish about them.
“We saw what happened at Aberdeen – they are going to make us play.
“We’ll assess the loan players, see what we bring in and what we need to do in terms of who we send back out or who we keep.”
Mulligan has ‘a load of teams asking for him’
Mulligan, meanwhile, is set to be recalled after an impressive season with Peterhead.
A versatile player, the 19-year-old made a real impact for the Blue Toon as an attacking right-back.
Whether he will return to push for a first-team place is not yet decided, however.
“There are a load of other teams asking for him so we’ll assess that as a group,” McPake added.
“We’ll make a decision that will come down to how we recruit this month.
“We don’t want to stop his development but if he can help us then we’ve got to be selfish and keep him here as a Dundee player.”