SACKED Dundee boss Paul Hartley is convinced he would have kept the club in the Premiership, despite a dismal run of form that saw them plunge to second bottom of the table.

The deposed Dens Park gaffer named the division’s Manager of the Month for February, but the Dark Blues have lost every one of their seven games since – including a 7-0 hammering at home to Aberdeen.

With only five games to go, the board made the decision to axe him yesterday.

The former Alloa gaffer said: “I’m disappointed not to have been given the chance to see out the remainder of the season because I firmly believe we would have retained our Premiership status.

“I was confident we would have moved up the league table as there are some excellent players in the dressing room, led by captain Darren O’Dea.

“However, I respect the decision made by the Dundee FC board and would like to wish everyone success in the final five games of the campaign.

“I’m very proud of what I achieved at Dundee since I was appointed manager in February, 2014.

“We won promotion to the top flight and we finished in the top six. There is no doubt I’m leaving the club in a far stronger position now from when I first joined.

“I want to thank all my backroom staff, who have been a pleasure to work with and gave me unswerving support, and also thank all the people who work at the club behind the scenes.

“I’ve met a lot of good people over the years at Dens Park and leave with a lot of happy memories.

“Finally, I wish the club well in the future and look forward to my next challenge in management.”

Dundee face Motherwell a week on Saturday in their first post-split fixture knowing victory at Fir Park will see them leapfrog the Lanarkshire side into 10th place and out of the relegation play-off place.


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