Furious Dundee manager Paul Hartley last night launched a blistering verbal attack on pundit Pat Nevin – and insisted Sportscene lacks complete credibility.
Hartley was reacting to criticism from former Everton and Scotland star Nevin in the wake of last Friday night’s 1-0 league defeat away to Aberdeen at Pittodrie.
Nevin, live on television late on Sunday evening in his long-held role as a critic, felt Dundee’s defending left a lot to be desired, including their concession of an early goal to Adam Rooney, which proved decisive on the night.
But Hartley, whose side welcome Falkirk to Dens Park for tonight’s Scottish Cup fourth round tie, has hit back in sweeping style by claiming the 52-year-old isn’t qualified to be making such remarks, having never held a managerial role.
Hartley said: “I didn’t see it but I was told about it and then I saw it.
“I was shown it this morning. That’s why he has never managed.
It’s the worst programme I’ve seen. Does it have any credibility? No, it’s got none.Paul Hartley
“What would he know about the shape of my team? He picks out three incidents in the game.
“I saw the players’ performance on Friday night, I saw the shape of the team – and some of the stuff he was speaking about was absolute garbage.
“That sums that programme up.
“It’s disappointing. He doesn’t know what he is talking about – and it’s the same every week. That’s why I don’t watch it. It’s why I wouldn’t have any of my players going on it – and I wouldn’t go on it myself.
“It’s the worst programme I’ve seen.
“Does it have any credibility? No, it’s got none.
“It’s not what it used to be like, away back in the 1980s when you wanted to sit up and watch Sportscene on a Saturday night.
“Now you don’t want to watch it. You just hear people talking about it.
“I got told me about it this morning, got shown the clip and some of the stuff he is talking about is just absolute nonsense – about shape and organisation. I was at the game, I managed it.
“He wasn’t a defender. He has never coached or managed a team. He probably didn’t even watch the game. “ I guarantee you he never watched the whole game.
“It’s disappointing for someone to go on there and speak about things that he doesn’t know about.
“He doesn’t know our team. He’s probably never seen us play this season. He can have his say but he’s talking absolute rubbish.
“I’ve told you the programme is terrible.
“No matter what anybody says, it’s garbage – and I’m not the only one that thinks that by the way.”
Dundee welcome Peter Houston’s Championship Falkirk to Tayside after the tie was initially called off a fortnight ago due to a waterlogged pitch.
“We just want the game to go ahead now,” he said “We have not trained on it but I had a look at it with the groundsman and it will do. Eighty per cent of the pitch is good.
“We won’t change our style. We will try to play the way we normally play and Falkirk will be the same. It will be a tough game, a real good tie. They are a good team, they have had a good season and they have some good players.”
Meanwhile, Dundee defender Kevin Holt is fine having sustained a head knock against Aberdeen but recent recruit Darren O’Dea is out injured.
Falkirk were left embarrassed the last time they faced Premiership opposition – but Luke Leahy reckons their seven-goal mauling by Ross County could prove a turning point in their season.
Peter Houston’s men are on an impressive 13-match unbeaten run, having only lost twice – away to Rangers and at home to Hibernian – since their humbling 7-0 hammering by County in the League Cup back in September.
But Leahy is aware tonight’s tie will be a testing examination as they bid to recreate August’s League Cup victory over Partick Thistle.
Leahy said: “Ross County was a disaster but in the Partick game we defended very well and our shape was good.
“So, fingers crossed, we perform like we did against Partick, instead of Ross County! County was one of those nights you don’t want to remember.
“There were a few words said after that game and we were in the next day, even though it was supposed to be our day off.
“Everything came out when we had a meeting the next day and we’ve only lost twice since then.
“So, although it was a bad result, it’s helped us.”