James McPake is set to be named the new manager of Dundee.
The 34-year-old former Hibs defender faces the task of securing promotion back to the Premiership at the first attempt. He is set to be joined at the club by former Scotland manager Gordon Strachan, who was in Dundee yesterday and is primed to return to his first club in an advisory role.
McPake is promoted from his current position as Head of Professional Performance at Dens Park after beating Alloa’s Jim Goodwin to the vacant managerial post. Jim McIntyre was sacked earlier this month following Dundee’s relegation.
Goodwin was reckoned to be in the driving seat after applications were whittled down to two. But McPake, who took caretaker charge of Dundee for the last game of the season against St Mirren following McIntyre’s departure, has been a respected figure at Dens Park since retiring from playing after sustaining a knee injury against Dundee United in January 2016. He was promoted to the coaching staff and has been working closely with Dundee’s managing director John Nelms ever since.
McPake will almost certainly be joined by Strachan in what is a remarkable coup for the Dens Park club. Strachan is close to agreeing terms to take an advisory role at the club with particular responsibility for the youth academy.
Strachan was with Nelms in Dundee looking around the Caird Park sports facility which is due to open later this year and will house the club’s youth academy.
Strachan is determined to implement his strategy for developing young football talent and has been persuaded to do so at Dundee, the club he joined from school. The former midfielder stayed five years before being transferred to Aberdeen in 1977.
McPake, meanwhile, is expected to appoint an experienced No 2 with Jimmy Nicholl, currently at St Mirren, a candidate.
Dundee will confirm McPake’s appointment in a statement published on the club’s website this morning. There will also be a video interview with Nelms, who will explain the reasons for opting for a manage with such limited first-team experience.
Nelms had previously outlined the need for an experienced manager to guide Dundee through a tricky season in the Championship, where they will join local rivals Dundee United.