Dundee manager James McPake: "Baiting of Charlie Adam annoyed me"

James McPake admitted Dundee were given a “bit of a fright” by Raith Rovers after they lost the second leg of their Premiership play-off semi-final.

Dundee manager James McPake - his side are in the Premiership play-off final after a 3-1 aggregate win over Raith Rovers. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

Dundee prevailed on aggregate after a 3-0 first leg win but Lewis Vaughan’s first-half strike was the difference at Dens Park.

An often tousy clash saw the hosts’ playmaker Charlie Adam walk on thin ice after he picked up a first-half booking.

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A subsequent handball offence and trip on fellow midfielder Ross Matthews had Raith players screaming for a second yellow to be shown to the Dundee skipper. He was eventually replaced with 20 minutes left and is free to lead his side into the first leg of their Premiership play-off final against either Ross County or Kilmarnock on Thursday. It is hoped some fans will be allowed into Dens Park for the clash.

BBC Scotland pundit Neil McCann during the Scottish Premiership Play Off Final 2nd Leg match between Dundee and Raith Rovers at Dens Park on May 15, 2021, in Dundee, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)

The Dundee manager revealed he would be attending Ross County’s game at Motherwell while assistant Dave Mackay will attend Kilmarnock’s clash at Hamilton Accies. Ross County only need a point to be safe and condemn Tommy Wright’s Killie side to 11th place, and an appointment with Dundee.

McPake is relieved to be able to call upon Adam, who escaped a second booking despite the efforts of some members of the opposition to draw referee Don Robertson’s attention to him as he sailed close to the wind.

“It was annoying me if I’m honest,” said McPake. “Someone was shouting ‘because it’s Charlie Adam he’s not getting booked again’.

“Don is a good referee and refereed the game pretty well, which was a tough game. Charlie tired a bit in the end and he’s such an important player. He was on a booking with 20 minutes to go so we took him off.

“In the first half we were a bit ropey and over eager to get a goal when we didn’t need to get a goal,” he added. “At half-time we calmed them down.McPake can now relax for a day at least as Ross County and Kilmarnock seek to avoid second bottom place. “I’m going to Motherwell. I might walk to it, it’s that close (to my home!),” said the manager. “Dave is going to Hamilton. We’ll give it everything for this club because we believe we’re good enough to get there (to the Premiership).”

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