NEIL McCANN has been out of permanent work for over four years after being sacked as manager of Dundee.

The former Ibrox, Dens Park, Hearts, Southampton, Falkirk and Scotland winger kicked off his managerial career at the Tayside club on April 29 2017 and was axed on October 6 2018 after a 2-1 defeat to Kilmarnock.

McCann lost 34 of the 65 matches during his quickfire stint in the dug-out, a miserable sequence which also included nine draws and only 22 wins.

He was the team’s gaffer in 34 home encounters where they managed to pick up win bonuses on a paltry nine occasions – a success rate of a miserly 28.5%.

NOW YOU SEE ME…Neil McCann during his 18-month career as Dundee manager.

In that torturous run of mediocrity, Dundee were walloped 4-0 on FIVE occasions – once by Celtic, twice by his former Govan club and one apiece from St Johnstone and Hamilton Accies.

In fact, McCann originally had a five-game stint in an interim capacity at Dens before the club announced on May 29 that he would not be offered the post on a permanent basis. Instead, they made a move for St Mirren’s Jack Ross, but were forced to go back to the drawing board when they were rebuffed by the Paisley outfit.

On June 1, the 26 times-capped forward was appointed on a full-time capacity and given the chop with Dundee bottom of the table after collecting just three points from eight games. He also had a three-month spell as caretaker at Inverness Caley Thistle in 2020/21 when boss John Robertson was allowed time off.

So, when McCann speaks about management – after fewer than a full 18 months in a touchline tracksuit on Tayside – you are bound to give him the deference he is undoubtedly due.

TOUCHLINE PLEA…Neil McCann in charge at Dundee.

Here’s what the one-time 48-year-old coach had to tell BBC Sportsound listeners on the impending appointment of Mick Beale as successor to Giovanni van Bronckhorst at the champions’ nearest league challengers who currently trail by nine points after only 15 games.

“Football can change very quickly. Nobody would have thought St Mirren would beat Celtic, but they did. You just don’t know how players are going to react when they come back from the break.

“There has been a body language issue among the Rangers players, but they are not bad players and I don’t think you can write off the league. There is a group of players in there that are under-performing and the application of some is not what it should be.

“If Michael Beale gets the job, he has to win the four games when the league comes back so he goes into the Old Firm game with the same points difference or better and then if he wins the game are you telling me that if it’s down to six points it’s not possible?”

With Beale on the brink of quitting Queens Park Rangers for a return to Ibrox where he spent three and a half years during Steven Gerrard’s reign, McCann added: “It’s a brave appointment because of his lack of experience, but having done that myself you back yourself.

GAME OVER…Giovanni van Bronckhorst and St Mirren boss Stephen Robinson embrace after the 1-1 draw in Paisley two weekends ago – the Dutchman’s final match in charge of the Ibrox team.

“You think you can make an impact. Mick will back himself and he won’t be fooled by what lies ahead because it’s an enormous job.

“He’s quite an inspirational character. I have spoken to him about his coaching philosophy and his thoughts of being his own man. This opportunity is too good to turn down.”

So, there you have it. Ange Postecoglou and his players have been warned the title race is far from over.

McCann has spoken.

He has been known to get it wrong, though.

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