Neil McCann has brushed off suggestions from Motherwell boss Steve Robinson that he must be “mad” to have swapped the TV studio for the dugout.
As the new Dundee interim manager prepares for his first match in charge at Fir Park tomorrow, his decision to leave his pundit’s post at Sky to take over from Paul Hartley at Dens Park was a topic of discussion at the Steelmen’s pre-match media conference.
Robinson said: “I don’t know Neil at all (but) I think I read Yogi (Raith gaffer John Hughes) saying something about it and the crazy world of management.
“Anyone that goes into this game must be mad!
“The amount of problems you encounter, but that’s what we do.
“It’s not a nice cushy job but he’s taken the plunge.”
McCann let all that wash over him, saying: “He can call me crazy all he wants.
“I think he is just touching on the precarious nature of football management.
“He might think my job at Sky was relatively easy but I put demands on myself in that job as well.
“I’m delighted to be here.
“There have been several people recently asking about my character but that is something that has been with me since I was 16.
“Listen, I don’t think I’m off my head.
“I know the dangers of football and I know this is a precarious position to take up in the game.
“But football is in my blood.
“I really do love it.
“When I do my Sky job, I hope that comes across, how passionate I am about football.
“I love the guts of it and I love the tactical aspect of it.
“I just love everything about it.
“So when the opportunity came up here it was just too difficult to turn down.”
Of more interest to McCann has been the positive response of his players as he has put his stamp on the Dark Blues’ squad.
McCann said: “I’ve had a great reaction from the players – I couldn’t be happier.
“I worked them really hard Thursday and Friday – really hard – and it was always my intention to send them away to spend some real quality family time at home.
“I thought that was important.
“The players have been through a tough time.
“Everybody knows the run that they have been on but I absolutely believe in them.
“So I wanted them to get that time away with their families, and not even think about football, really.
“Then they came back in Monday and Tuesday, and Wednesday we were in doing stuff.
“It has been absolutely fantastic.”
Given all the positive vibes, McCann was asked if he has had to remind himself of the club’s predicament and seven-match losing streak.
He replied: “No, I am fully aware of where we are and where we want to be.
“I know the form the team has been in.
“I have seen enough of Dundee to know the squad.
“Having worked with them and placed the demands I have on them I am even more positive about what I’ve got here to work with.
“The guys in there are, to a man, of the same opinion.
“They are fully aware of what’s expected and what lies ahead.
“What has happened before, that’s gone. It has absolutely gone.
“It would have been different if I were in the job then, and in a position now going into the last five games.
“Instead, I am fresh into this and have a fresh outlook on the whole squad.
“I have now changed things to (suit) what I want to achieve because I am a different person.
“It’s not as if I think I’m different to Paul Hartley, it’s just that I have my own way and the players are now aware of that.”