Dundee manager Neil McCann admitted he endured 90 difficult minutes in the stands during a Tayside derby simmering with tension – but Sofien Moussa’s late winner made him forget all his frustration.
McCann served a one-match touchline ban against St Johnstone at Dens Park following a post-match tussle with Perth goalkeeper Zander Clark in the immediate aftermath of a 4-0 home defeat six weeks ago when the teams last met at the same stadium.
McCann maintained the animosity in the build-up to the game and the latter looked like he would have the last laugh when Steven MacLean levelled with five minutes left.
But Moussa headed home Cammy Kerr’s free-kick three minutes later to add to his first-minute tap-in and seal a 2-1 victory which took Dundee six points clear of Ross County, who are now bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership.
McCann said: “It was difficult. I didn’t enjoy it one bit. You do get a different perspective on the match from there but it’s not great when you can’t directly affect it on the field.
“There were a few things I wasn’t pleased about but at the end those feelings just disappeared, and were replaced by just satisfaction, really.
“When they equalised I just thought it was maybe going to be one of those days because it was late on. But it was a terrific ball from Cammy and big Moussa, it was a thunderous header.
“I thought he was brilliant, I really did. His hold-up play was exceptional and two huge goals for us.”
On the eve of the game, McCann vowed not to speak to Tommy Wright and declared the visiting boss “not welcome” at Dens Park, and the pair had not spoken by the time the post-match media conferences started.
A thawing of the frosty relations certainly was not imminent either.
But the former Scotland winger dismissed suggestions the win would be all the sweeter given what happened after their previous encounter.
“I don’t really care about it,” he said. “It’s irrelevant what happened before.
“We have beaten St Johnstone three times now this season and this one is the most important one because it’s in the split, it’s a huge three points for us and it lets us build on it.”
Likewise, Wright dismissed claims the defeat would hurt all the more.
“It’s three points,” he said. “When I wake up in the morning it’s three points lost, it doesn’t matter who it’s to.
“Of course we would have preferred to have the three points, we would have preferred to have the point even, but the fact we have been beaten here – we have lost here before – is not going to make much difference to my weekend. Three points lost is three points lost.”
When asked about McCann’s pre-match comments, Wright said: “Listen, I think the messages I have received and the support I have received and what’s been said on social media, there’s only one person coming out of it not looking great and it certainly isn’t me.”