Paul McGowan shares his manager Neil McCann’s burning passion, and insists they will need that exact quality to ensure Dundee’s Premiership safety in the weeks ahead.
McGowan watched his boss lose his cool and subsequently receive a two-match touchline ban when the SFA found him guilty of excessive conduct in the wake of his recent post-match confrontation with St Johnstone keeper Zander Clark, as tempers flared after Dundee lost 4-0 to their Tayside rivals.
The Dens Park club have appealed the ban, meaning McCann will be in the dugout for today’s visit of Hearts.
Dundee have hit an untimely dip, their home form a genuine cause for concern, and McGowan, pictured, knows they must exhibit their will to win if they are to allay fears over their future top-flight status.
“There is a fiery side to the manager and it comes out when we put in a bad performance,” said McGowan, who recently signed a new one-year deal with Dundee despite interest from St Johnstone.
“But that’s the winning mentality in him. You can see he’s emotional when it comes to games. I am the same myself, I am like that when I’m out on the pitch – although I’m more of a moaner! I try not to do it because I want to encourage players. The foreign boys just look at you. Big [Sofien] Moussa must think I’m nuts. I look like I’m taking a heart attack at times, but it’s because I want to win. I am like that in training as well and I know people probably think I’m an idiot off the pitch, but I’m not.
“There are not enough winners, not about here, but in general. This is a tough league so you need people to stand up and be dirty. I don’t mean smashing people, but doing the dirty side of the game.
“The manager is an emotional character but he is a winner. I have had both sides, from managers who don’t do it and ones who do. Sometimes we have needed a kick up the arse this season. Some players like that and other players don’t, but it genuinely doesn’t bother me. I feel sometimes things have to be said and I feel that it has worked.”