Dundee sack manager Paul Hartley


Glasgow (AFP) – Scottish Premiership strugglers Dundee have sacked manager Paul Hartley, the club announced on Monday.

Dundee have lost their last seven matches and are second-bottom of Scotland’s top flight, five points above basement club Inverness Caledonian Thistle with five games of the season remaining.

The bottom club at the end of the season will be relegated, with the second-bottom side entering a relegation play-off.

“I want to thank Paul for his time with the club,” said managing director John Nelms in a statement on Dundee’s website. “Unfortunately, the business we are in, sometimes change is necessary to achieve the goals we have set. 

“I think somebody in the near future is going to get a good hard working manager.”

Dundee have won just eight of 33 league games so far this season. The Scottish Premiership is divided in two for the final few weeks of the campaign and Dundee’s first post-split fixture is at Motherwell, the team immediately above them, a week on Saturday. 

Hartley arrived at Dens Park in February 2014 and took Dundee up from the Championship to the top flight in his first season.

His final match in charge of the Dark Blues was a 2-0 home defeat by Hamilton Academical at Dens Park on Saturday which dropped Dundee into the bottom two, released a statement of his own later Monday in which he expressed his sadness.

“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 SPFL Premiership status,” he said. “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.

Hartley, who thanked his backroom staff and the club staff, added: “We won promotion to the SPFL 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.”

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