Dundee interim boss Neil McCann criticises scheduling of Inverness fixture

May 19 2017, 9.00amUpdated: May 18 2017, 4.27pm
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Neil McCann.

Neil McCann believes moving his side’s Premiership match to accommodate Dundee United’s play-off game handed Inverness an advantage on Wednesday night.

Dundee were originally due to play on Tuesday evening but because the Tangerines were also set to meet Falkirk at Tannadice at the same time live on BT Sport, the Dark Blues’ game was postponed for 24 hours.

By the time that match kicked off, Dundee knew their Premiership safety was assured following Hamilton’s defeat at Ross County with the result also meaning the Caley Jags could stave off automatic relegation if they won against McCann’s men.

A fired-up Inverness raced into an early and unassailable 2-0 lead but the interim Dundee boss insists all the crunch games should all have taken place at the same time.

McCann said last night: “I have a wee bit of a gripe because our game was changed.

“We were supposed to be playing on the Tuesday and it was changed to the Wednesday.

“Now, we are the Premiership side and we have changed to accommodate a Championship play-off. They are trying to get into our league.

“That result (Hamilton’s) helped us because we knew we were safe but that also had a big bearing on how Inverness came out.

“Nobody should have an advantage and all the games should be played on one evening.

“I know there is the television argument and I work for Sky so that might seem hypocritical.

“But sometimes you can see from the other side of the fence once you are there.

“That could have been a subconscious advantage to Inverness as well.”

However, while not happy with the scheduling, McCann did not hide away from the fact that his own side’s performance in defeat was not acceptable – and he also accepted a share of the blame himself.

He said: “I had them in this morning and everybody is of the same opinion that it was a really disappointing result.

“I am going to take a wee bit of responsibility because I changed it a bit very subtly how we started the game.

“Maybe that had an impact on the throw-in for the first goal.

“I just changed how we deployed Faissal (El Bakhtaoui) putting him up top while he had been starting on the left.

“Maybe that just disrupted us a wee bit and as a coach that is something you need to look at.

“You can’t always point the finger of blame at the players.

“But within that they still know their jobs and we just didn’t switch on to it.

“Maybe that wee subtle change made us drop concentration.

“I have watched it now and the first goal absolutely could have been stopped.

“The second goal was not good enough – that was really poor.

“The disappointment in the dressing-room afterwards was tangible.

“That would suggest to me that they hadn’t downed tools.

“It is my job now to get things right tactically and to go again Saturday.”

Dundee have Inverness’s destiny once more in their own hands with the Highland side hoping they can do them a favour when the Dark Blues travel to face Hamilton tomorrow.

However, McCann is just fully focused on his own side.

He added: “There are a few bumps and bruises so I could make changes.

“It is a hard turnaround when you have a short space of time. Hamilton have had the luxury of an extra day.

“But we have our own focus and drive to win the match and it’s not to help Inverness, it’s not to punish Hamilton, it is to put things right on a performance which was disappointing last night because we are better than that.”

The Hamilton game will mark the end of McCann’s original five-game remit and as has been the case previously, he still will not say one way or the other what the future holds for next season.

He said: “I want us to finish on a high with a win.

“Afterwards, the boys will get a well-deserved break because in the three games before last night they have done exceptionally well to drag themselves out of staring down the barrel of a gun.

“So they will go away and have a break to recharge the batteries.

“I will take stock of everything and then have the conversations that are going to happen because as I have said before – and I have been pretty clear in my message – I am still contracted to Sky.

“They have allowed me to step out of my job to do this one.

“The main objective from the club was to save ourselves and stay in the Premiership and that has been ticked off.

“But my objective was to win five games and I have not come up with that so I need to win on Saturday and I will be reasonably happy if we do.”

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