Neil McCann and Ray McKinnon relish another Dundee derby

Neil McCann and his players were delighted with the Betfred Cup draw. Picture: SNS.
Neil McCann and his players were delighted with the Betfred Cup draw. Picture: SNS.
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Deflation quickly turned to delight for manager Neil McCann after yesterday’s last 16 Betfred Cup draw provided Dundee with a chance to put right yesterday’s penalty shoot-out defeat against their city rivals.

After an entertaining 1-1 draw, the teams were pitted against each other in a shoot-out to decide who would win Group C and enter the next round as top seeds.

United took the honours after their teenage goalkeeper, Harry Lewis, saved Roarie Deacon’s penalty. But McCann later said he and his players roared their delight when the draw gave them a chance for redemption at Dens Park next Wednesday night.

“When I went into the dressing room it was quiet – I said I wanted another crack at them,” said the Dundee manager.

“We got one – that’s why a cheer went up at the draw. That’s not being disrespectful or arrogant, it’s just a fantastic game to be involved in.

“It is a shame it’s not going 
to happen in the league 
this season because United are still down, but I thought that was a great advert for Scottish football,” he added. McCann had no regrets about demanding that Dundee adopt a swagger going into yesterday’s game as the team from the higher division.

It was the first time since 1956 that Dundee had contested a derby fixture while operating in a league above their neighbours.

“I don’t mind,” he said. “Headlines can be sensationalised. But I don’t mind saying that – I did say swagger.

“I am not being arrogant or disrespectful. They [his players] should feel good about themselves. They retained their Premiership status when it looked like we were on the way down after seven defeats.”

Both Dundee and Dundee United have already agreed to schedule the re-match at Dens for Wednesday 9 August, with a 7.45pm kick off.

The same ticket prices will apply. BT Sport, who covered yesterday’s derby in front of 10,460 fans, will decide today whether to televise this game again or another last-16 clash.

“It was exciting football for the fans and we get to do it all again now,” said a satisfied United manager Ray McKinnon.

“I’d rather it was at Tannadice, but there’s nothing to fear coming here. Dundee are a good side but we’ve shown we can go out and play.

“We were missing James Keatings, Scotty [McDonald] will have another two weeks of training under him. Willo Flood has only played 60 minutes with the kids. We’ll get these players back fit and we’ll be a stronger squad coming into it hopefully.”

McKinnon added that his understrength side had not practised penalties going into yesterday’s match.

“I just told them to go and do it on the day,” he said. “They can all take a penalty. I just wanted them to concentrate on winning the game on the day.”