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Mark McGhee: New Dundee boss admits he has to prove himself at Dens Park as he sets out to win over furious fans

Mark McGhee's achievements as a manager make him worthy of more respect than he has been shown since his appointment by Dundee
Mark McGhee's achievements as a manager make him worthy of more respect than he has been shown since his appointment by Dundee

Mark McGhee admits he has a lot of people to prove wrong after taking the reins at Dundee.

The 64-year-old has taken on the 11th full-time managerial role of his career, having started as a boss back in 1991 at Reading.

But his arrival at Dens Park has been met with outright anger from some disgruntled Dees, furious at the manner in which James McPake was ousted and McGhee installed.

The vastly experienced manager admits his relationship with Dundee technical director Gordon Strachan helped him get the job.

But at his unveiling at Dens Park, McGhee stressed his managerial record, which is nearing the 1,000-game mark, should be the only factor in judging him as choice for Dark Blues boss.

“I have to prove myself again,” he said.

Mark McGhee unveiled as the new manager of Dundee.

“I am here and I am working for (the supporters) every minute of the day to keep them up.

“I will be reminding the boys constantly that is why we do it – for the supporters.

“I want, like any other manager, the supporters to love me.

“When I do eventually leave here I hope they remember me fondly and the fact I have been a success.”

He added: “I am not asking for patience. What I am asking for is the benefit of the doubt.

Mark McGhee

“I want people to look at my record and my record in this sort of situation is good, as well as multiple promotions.

“One of the things I cite is that a lot of these clubs I was at for three-and-a-half years.

“You don’t stay at clubs for three-and-a-half years if you are not successful.

“I had that at Reading, Wolves, Millwall and Brighton and I chose to leave Motherwell when I left the first time after two years.”

Ban: I should have dealt with it, but I didn’t

McGhee was introduced to the media by managing director John Nelms, who made a quick speech but refused to take any questions.

Another factor in the disillusioned response from supporters is the fact McGhee still has a six-game ban to serve from the end of his time at Motherwell five years ago.

The new Dens boss insists it won’t be a problem, with assistants Simon Rusk and Dave Mackay, both former managers themselves, there to take charge on the side lines.

Mark McGhee alongside managing director John Nelms.

Though he admits the suspension may have put off other clubs over the past five years.

“I thought my six-match ban would possibly be a barrier to me getting another job in Scotland,” he added.

“I wasn’t holding out a great deal of hope of getting another job up here.

“But the SFA were brilliant. The attitude they took towards me when they realised what was going on.

“They have expressed that they now realise it doesn’t feel right and they now need to look at that.

“I have to say, a lot of it is my own doing.

“Not because I got the ban because I didn’t deserve it, I don’t care what anyone says.

McGhee is sent to the stands at Pittodrie as Motherwell manager.

“I shouldn’t have been banned for what I did against Dundee and what happened to me on that dreadful night in Aberdeen.

“But I didn’t go to the hearing. I’d left Motherwell and I more or less said: ‘Stick it’.

“I was too upset and had gone back down south. I didn’t go to the meeting and I got what I deserved in that respect.

“I should have dealt with it then but I didn’t.”

Aberdeen video

McGhee’s last act as a manager in Scottish football is one that lives on in the memories of football fans up and down the country – and certainly lives on online.

After the infamous outburst directed at an official that led to his ban, McGhee then reacted angrily towards a Dons fan who was surreptitiously filming him. That footage swiftly went viral.

He’s now determined to change people’s perceptions of him at Dundee.

“I am always trying to prove people wrong,” McGhee added.

McGhee at Dens Park.

“I also want to prove people right and prove to myself that I can do things.

“But I would like to think the highlight of my career for a lot of people isn’t what happened at Aberdeen.

“One incident at Aberdeen that wasn’t really my doing is not going to define me, that’s for sure.

“But having the opportunity to manage again in Scotland at a club like Dundee is fantastic.

“It’s a dream to manage again and this is a great, great opportunity.”

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