Neil McCann says the opportunity to manage Dundee FC “was just too good to turn down”.
The former Dens Park player has been confirmed as the interim manager charged with trying to keep Dundee FC in the Scottish Premiership.
Asked why he had given up his job with Sky Sports to take on such a high-pressured role, he said: “This opportunity was just too good to turn down.”
McCann also said he is “massively confident” of keeping the Dark Blues in the top league and expects the squad to react to the change and turn their season around.
“I know what it’s like when you lack confidence — you don’t take the risky pass, the killer pass. You’re maybe not prepared to take the ball in a tight situation just because you’re lacking a wee bit of confidence.
“It’s my job until the end of the season to try to extract that confidence and hopefully that will be enough to get us the points.”
McCann insisted his only focus is the club’s five remaining games and he refused to talk about his longer-term future.
“I’m not interested in what happens afterwards. I’m only interested in these five games coming up. They’re massively important for the club,” he said.
“Dundee are a huge club and they have a massive fanbase. I’ve seen it now twice personally as a player and I know what the club has to offer.
“The squad at my disposal is more than good enough to get away (from the dropzone).”
His appointment, confirmed at a Dens Park news conference on Tuesday night, comes less than 36 hours after Paul Hartley was relieved of his duties. McCann has the post on an interim basis until the end of the season.
Hartley’s dismissal was confirmed in the wake of an alarming slump in form which saw the Dens Park side losing seven matches in a row.
The latest in that sequence — a 2-0 home reverse against Hamilton — resulted in the Dark Blues falling to 11th place in the table.
Dundee are five points clear of bottom club Inverness but face a huge five games as they look to pull themselves clear of both the automatic relegation spot and the play-off position they currently occupy.
Neil McCann new Dundee manager, very bold move from the Dee.
— Jamie Langfield (@jamlang22) April 18, 2017
Neil McCann has recently worked as a pundit for Sky Sports and had two playing spells for the Dark Blues. The second saw him come out of retirement in 2011 to help Dundee stave off the threat of relegation, scoring a dramatic late winner against Raith Rovers.
He also played for Hearts, Rangers, Southampton and Falkirk and more latterly worked as assistant manager with Dunfermline.