New Dundee captain Kevin Thomson has lifted the lid on his troubled season at Hibs and his strained relationship with Terry Butcher.
Thomson has a smile on his face again, having signed for the Scottish Premiership new boys, but admits it was tough when he was slapped on the transfer list by former Easter Road manager Butcher back in January before being released following Hibs’ relegation to the Championship at the end of the season.
Thomson had a spring in his step as he returned yesterday from Dundee’s gruelling week-long training camp in Budapest, and the former Rangers and Middlesbrough midfielder has revealed he was intent on preserving his own reputation during those trying times at Easter Road when he found himself frozen out.
Thomson said: “The hard thing for me at Hibs was that I was going through a spell where I wasn’t enjoying going into training. He [Butcher] made it really difficult for me but fortunately for me the way I have always been in my career, I just kept my head down and working away.
“I think everyone thought it was an unusual situation at Hibs. I never touted myself around as the best player at Hibs or anything like that. But a lot of people were saying ‘how can the best player sit on the bench’?
“Maybe if I had been 23 or 24 I would have been kicking doors in every day demanding that I wanted to play a bit more. But I am more experienced now and I never gave him any opportunity to say anything bad about me.
“I think that made it harder that I tried to do everything asked of me and I still didn’t get an opportunity. I don’t want to get into a war of words with him.
“I just want to move on and I now have a manager [Paul Hartley] who really believes in me and hopefully I can repay him.
“He has been brilliant with me as has every other manager I have worked with in my career, apart from the last six months under Terry Butcher which was a sickener for me but hopefully there will be good times ahead again. It is a good group of boys at Dundee and a great club – so far so good.”
Thomson jumped at the chance to become part of Hartley’s summer revolution at Dens Park and was immediately installed as captain.
Excited at the prospect of leading the Taysiders back into the top flight, Thomson said: “When I spoke to Paul before the summer, I told him that I wanted to concentrate on trying my best for Hibs and if I did get an opportunity I felt it was only fair to put my future on hold to try to help the club.
“I then sat down with him at the end of the season. After the disappointment with how it ended at Hibs it was a pick-up and a boost to come to Dundee.
“Hopefully, I can be a major part of the team. It is something that has really kick-started me again. The gaffer was a top player. Hopefully he sees me being like he was as a player and he has put a lot of trust in me, making me club captain. They are trying to build a team around me so it is an exciting time for me and an exciting time for the club.”