Dundee boss Neil McCann confident new signings will cope with ferocity of Scottish game

© SNSNeil McCann, left, with one of his new signings Jean Mendy.
Neil McCann, left, with one of his new signings Jean Mendy.

On July 26, last year, Dundee played Cowdenbeath in the Betfred Cup and easily won 3-0.

Fast forward 12 months to Saturday’s game in the same competition against Brechin at Dens and the Dark Blues cruised to another comfortable victory.

The big difference though was in the starting line-ups from the respective matches.

Incredibly, only Cammy Kerr and Paul McGowan kicked off in both cup ties which illustrates the scale of the overhaul of the Dundee squad manager Neil McCann has undertaken since becoming permanent boss last June.

This has been another summer of change with the likes of Kevin Holt and Mark O’Hara moving to pastures new while others such as Faissal El Bakhtaoui, James Vincent and Marcus Haber have been shipped out on season-long loans.

McCann has made five new signings so far in Jack Hamilton, Elton Ngwatala, Kharl Madianga, Nathan Ralph and Jean Mendy and while happy with the impact they have made so far, the manager admits some of them may take time to adjust to the “ferocity” of the Scottish game.

McCann, who has been putting his players through their paces this week ahead of Saturday’s Premiership opener at St Mirren, said: “Clearly as a manager you want to have your own way of playing – that’s the first thing you want to do.

“Then you want to have the guys who you feel can give you the best in how you want to play.

“There are boys who I thought could have played a part in that but they maybe just couldn’t be guaranteed a position and they wanted to move on.

“I don’t hold any grudges to those boys who have moved on, in fact it is the opposite as I wish them all the best.

“I have been there myself when it didn’t quite work out at a club with a manager – it happens in football.

“I am pleased with the boys who have come in but it is still early yet. I have added again and they need to learn how I want them to play.”

McCann continued: “A couple of those boys have come from different cultures as well so that will take time for them to get used to, not only the dressing-room but the ferocity sometimes of the Scottish game.

“Some of them probably got taken by surprise for instance when we played Dunfermline.

“I am not confident that they will be fully up to speed (for St Mirren game). That’s going to take time and doesn’t happen overnight or the space of a couple of weeks.

“However, I am absolutely confident they will mature into good players for Dundee or I wouldn’t have wanted to bring them here.”