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Dundee boss James McPake praises ‘hungry’ Leigh Griffiths but rues wastefulness in win over Dumbarton

Dundee boss James McPake during the victory at Dumbarton.
Dundee boss James McPake during the victory at Dumbarton.

Dundee boss James McPake was pleased to see striker Leigh Griffiths show his hunger as he fired the Dark Blues into round five of the Scottish Cup.

The Scotland striker has been the centre of attention this month with his immediate future still up in the air.

The Dens boss didn’t want to discuss the contract situation surrounding the 31-year-old but praised his frontman for coming off the bench and grabbing his third goal of the season.

A 62nd-minute penalty was enough to see off League One Dumbarton with the hosts reduced to 10 men moments before half-time.

Griffiths arrived from the bench after the break alongside Paul McMullan as Jordan McGhee picked up a thigh knock and Paul McGowan made way.

Special mention for Paul McMullan

McPake, though, insists the red card for Ross MacLean didn’t affect his thinking on throwing on Griffiths.

“The sending off didn’t impact my plans,” he said after the 1-0 win.

“One substitute was forced by injury, the other was tactical.

“When you are making chances like that, I wanted to get Leigh on the pitch.

Dundee striker Leigh Griffiths scores from the spot against Dumbarton.

“Ultimately he got the winner and that’s what he does when you get him right.

“When he is fit, he is still one of the country’s best goalscorers.

“I want to give him credit because his all-round play was a bit better today, he was hungry and he looked good.

“Another special mention goes to Paul McMullan. He’s had a dead leg and hasn’t trained but getting him on the pitch put a bit of fear into Dumbarton.”

‘Very wasteful’

The victory put an end to a six-game losing streak for the Dark Blues as they also notched their first clean sheet since beating St Johnstone on December 1.

McPake admits it wasn’t a classic performance from his side but they did enough to move into round five.

“I’d have taken it before the game, you want to be in the hat for the next round,” he added.

Dumbarton’s Paul Paton challenges Luke McCowan of Dundee.

“It wasn’t pretty but we should have been out of sight with numerous chances.

“Some of the balls Cammy Kerr put in from the left, you’ve got to score them, you’ve got to be ruthless.

“We were very wasteful at times.

“But we got the goal in the end, we’re in the next round and ultimately that’s what matters.

“We’re delighted with that.”


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