Dundee boss Neil McCann insists he would rather his players were passionate when speaking to the press after defeats rather than “whimpering away” with wishy-washy comments.
In the aftermath of last weekend’s 3-0 loss to Hibs – the Dark Blues’ seventh in a row – Paul McGowan launched a furious four-letter fusillade accusing the team of being weak-minded while on-loan Crystal Palace defender Ryan Inniss suggested the players had surrendered in the second half against the Edinburgh side.
However, McCann says that instead of being disappointed by the remarks, he was happy his players were showing emotion and questioning things when they were going wrong.
The manager said: “I heard of the comments from Ryan and Paul.
“Does it concern me? It shows they care and that’s good.
“I don’t want them just whimpering away in a press conference and feeling sorry for themselves.
“I want passion and that’s what it was after Hibs. They were emotional because they know how hard we work.
“As a manager, you work hard all week to prepare them and they go at it hammer and tongs, only to get no reward.
“Yet again the question was asked about coming up short with another defeat.
“But I’m happy with the players questioning each other.
“So I’ve not got a problem with that or what they’ve said – and none of the boys had a problem with those two for being outspoken.
“I think we all believe we can do better. That’s clear with the results we’ve been getting.”
Dundee will travel to Hamilton this afternoon, sitting rock bottom of the Premiership without a point to their name.
However, McCann insists morale is still high within the camp.
He added: “It’s not been a case of having to lift the spirits this week.
“Clearly, there had to be a meeting to go over the Hibs result and my feelings on the performance, the aftermath and what that means.
“But I haven’t had to lift spirits. It’s been good.
“I know it sounds strange because of where we are in the league.
“You might think if they’re up and bubbly then they’re not taking things seriously.
“But I think the dressing-room has been good and strong.
“They understand and it was quite emotional after the Hibs game because they were really disappointed especially after the first-half performance.
“Then we conceded two very quick goals which had a big impact.
“But I haven’t had to go round with a rallying call.
“In fact, I’ve almost had to put the reins on them in training due to the fact they still want to be really competitive and charge about.
“But the last thing we want with our injury list is another injury.”
As ever, McCann was not willing to divulge exactly who was receiving treatment in the physio room but he did concede that there are doubts over up to eight players.
However, there was one piece of good news over one player who has not featured so far this season.
McCann said: “Roarie Deacon is back. He had 45 minutes against St Mirren earlier in the week so that’s a boost.
“He comes into the squad so we’ll have a decision to make.
“It’s not great news with the rest and Kenny Miller is still suspended.”
Many will regard the game today as a must-win one for Dundee but McCann insists Hamilton deserve as much respect as champions Celtic.
He added: “I’ve watched plenty of Hamilton’s games. They got a great result against St Mirren last week.
“They’re a difficult side to play against always.
“People might write us off against the bigger sides and think we should be beating Hamilton.
“Possibly if you lose against teams round about you, it creates a bigger gap.
“But I still believe there’s more than enough time this season to get our season going and it just takes one result.
“I wouldn’t be disrespectful to Hamilton and say we should be beating them and not Celtic. It’s the same amount of points for any win.
“The games have been horrible in the past down at Hamilton.
“But they’ve put down a new surface. From what I’ve seen, it looks decent.
“Listen, Hamilton are not just a physical side. They can play football as well.
“We’re going to win the game. We’ve no other thoughts.”