Paul McGowan and Graham Dorrans.

Gordon Strachan gives Dundee boss James McPake ‘regular reminders’ about Paul McGowan’s capabilities up front

The idea of using Paul McGowan as a striker isn’t a new one.


And Dundee manager James McPake, who paired the 32-year-old up front with Kane Hemmings to good effect in the recent 2-0 win against Partick Thistle, has had regular reminders from Gordon Strachan about McGowan’s attacking capabilities.

McGowan started out at Celtic in a forward role and the Dark Blues’ technical director even played him there in a high pressure Champions League game when he was Hoops boss.

McPake was certainly delighted with what he saw at Dens on Saturday.

“I thought playing him alongside Kano worked really well,” he reflected.

“It’s something we would have done earlier if we could have. We probably would have done it at Morton but Paul was injured that day.

“He started his career out there. That’s what Gordon keeps saying to me. He played there when Gordon was at Celtic.

“Gordon gave him his debut and he played in the Champions League for him against Villarreal.”

Versatility has been one of McGowan’s strengths since he arrived at Dundee six years ago.

“He’s played up off a striker before under Neil McCann,” said McPake.

“Paul (Hartley) played him in a two in front of me but I always thought he was more of a threat further up the pitch.

“He creates problems for defenders because they don’t know whether to come with him when he drops deeper, which he does naturally. He takes real care of the ball, turns and can see a pass.

“He set a goal up with one of those. I was delighted with him.”