Jason Cummings: James McPake to deal with Dundee striker as he opens up on absence
Dundee manager James McPake will deal with errant striker Jason Cummings when the team returns to training on Monday after he missed the 1-0 defeat by Hearts due to “completely unacceptable” behaviour.
The 26-year-old was sent home from training on Friday morning after he attended an Open Goal event at The Hydro in Glasgow the previous evening. The forward “wasn’t anywhere near enough fit to train”, according to McPake, and left his boss and team-mates in the lurch for the cinch Premiership encounter with the Jambos, which the visitors won 1-0 thanks to a goal by Jamie Walker.
Dundee had six first-team players injured plus a suspension to defender Ryan Sweeney and McPake could not hide his disappointment and frustration at Cummings’ conduct.
"He will be away from the club until Monday and then we'll deal with it internally,” said McPake.
"He was unfit to train. It's something I'm not going to go into, but there's enough social media and enough that I can't deny it either.
“People will make their own minds up why he's not involved today, but it's not down to injury or Covid.
"Do I have to hold my hands up? Possibly, I signed Jason.
“On the whole for what he's done – he helped us get promoted and did an okay job – but what he did on Thursday is completely unacceptable.
“He was unfit to train on Friday so do I regret my decision? No.
“He never asked me to go to the event and would I have allowed him to go? I didn’t get the chance to answer that.
“I probably wouldn’t have because of where we are, but I didn’t get the courtesy of that – so there’s the first breach. Then he wasn’t anywhere near enough fit to train on Friday morning.
“I was made aware of it at 7am on Friday morning, I didn’t see it on social media."
McPake hailed the efforts of his diminished group of players despite a fourth league defeat in a row.
“We are fighting and people like Alex Jakubiak are telling me they’re not ready but he’s willing to play,” continued McPake.“We had 11 players and they all gave everything.
“We put a lot into the game so it was a sore one, they gave everything and we had some good bits of play.
“It was the typical kind of goal we are losing at the minute, Liam Fontaine does the right thing but it rolls across the line to Jamie Walker.
“Luke McCowan didn’t touch the ball for the throw in, he wasn’t big enough to reach it.
“I thought the officials on the day were … the officials.”