Dundee boss James McPake looking for players to pile pressure on opponents as season opener looms

© SNSAndrew Nelson.
Andrew Nelson.

Dundee manager James McPake has urged his players to press like Andrew Nelson in the new season.

The Dark Blues finished off their pre-season schedule with a 1-0 win over Blackpool at Dens on Tuesday night.

The winning goal may not have been a thing of beauty – visiting keeper Christopher Mafoumbi smashed a clearance off Nelson and it flew back into the net – but McPake was impressed by the pressure his player out on the goalie.

He would like to see his whole team make life as difficult for Raith Rovers in the Betfred Cup on Saturday at Stark’s Park as Nelson did against the English club in the final friendly of the summer.

The Dark Blues boss said: “We are trying to press teams and what Andrew did was leave the goalkeeper with only one side to go to.

“He restricted his options and got his reward for pressing pretty well.

“That was great to see as Andrew is a young kid who works extremely hard and I love working with him.

“He brings a lot and has a lot to offer Dundee.

“We really like Andrew at this club and I am delighted for him because he deserved that goal.”

Meanwhile, McPake wished Nathan Ralph well as the former Dens full-back embarks on a new stage of his career at Southend United.

Ralph will be missed by Dundee and his popularity was evident when he won nearly every supporters’ clubs’ player-of-the-year award at the end of last season.

McPake said: “He was fantastic here.

“First and foremost, he was a great person.

“I got to know him pretty well, even before I was the manager.

“I saw him first hand and he was a good footballer. I think you saw at our player of the year awards how many prizes he won. That showed what the fans thought of him.

“I would love him to go and do well down there and I’m sure he will.

“He is a quality player.”