Former Dundee boss James McPake insists he could have saved the side from relegation from the Premiership.
The Dark Blues dropped to the Championship after finishing bottom with just six wins all season.
McPake, who has recently returned to football management with Dunfermline, was relieved of his duties with the side two points clear of then-bottom side St Johnstone in February.
The former fans’ favourite was also dismissed after back-to-back wins.
His successor, Mark McGhee, won just one of his 13 games in charge, ending the campaign six points behind the Perth side.
McPake says he has sympathy for his former club and will always cherish their play-off win at Rugby Park.
However, the 37-year-old believes the Dens Park side would still be a top-flight club if he was in charge.
‘I would have kept Dundee up’
“I’m gutted for Dundee and it was hard to see them relegated,” he told the Sunday Mail.
“As manager, we picked them up when they were on their knees having just dropped down to the Championship.
“We had a night in Kilmarnock that will never leave me when we got promoted.
“That’s the memory I’ll treasure. I believe I’d have kept them up, given the chance.
“We’ll never know, it’s open to people’s interpretation. But did we think we’d keep Dundee in the Premiership? Yes.
“I’ve distanced myself from it because I was close to staff who were still there, still fighting to keep them up.
“But it was hurting me, I won’t lie. Because it’s a great club.
“We had full belief as a coaching group and squad of players that we’d stay up.
“When I left, we were two points ahead of St Johnstone in 11th.
“We were only six behind Ross County with a game in hand at home to St Mirren.
“They won one game in 13. I’d have backed myself to do enough to make the play-off, minimum.
“And if we’d have got into the play-offs and stayed up it would have been job done.”