Dundee V Partick at Dens Park Stadium : Match Preview

28 February 2017
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Dundee boss Paul Hartley saddened by Mark McGhee's Motherwell exit

Dundee manager Paul Hartley claimed football management was becoming an impossible job after hearing the news of Mark McGhee's exit from Motherwell.

McGhee was sacked three days after Motherwell shipped five first-half goals against the Dark Blues.

Motherwell are outside the Ladbrokes Premiership relegation places and have barely been in them all season but McGhee was offered little leeway after an inexperienced defence was exposed by Hartley's side so soon after his team conceded seven goals at Aberdeen.

Hartley had his own difficult spell after losing main attacking threats Kane Hemmings and Greg Stewart early in the season, and his side were bottom after Partick Thistle inflicted a sixth straight defeat in October.

But they go into Wednesday's visit of Thistle in sixth place and Hartley is thankful he had a supportive board.

On McGhee's sacking, Hartley said: "I just think it's modern-day football. It's all results-based and I think it's disappointing.

"We have been in the situation Mark and Motherwell were in, we had a bad start to the season, we were down near the bottom.

"Managers now are definitely under pressure game by game. Mark has an excellent CV, but it's just the way football clubs work now.

"We're under difficult circumstances, we are under pressure all the time from everyone. It's all about results, trying to get some wins and hopefully you can keep people off your back.

"It's hard being a manager: what we have to work under, the amount of pressure we are under to produce results, the financial constraints that we work under. Sometimes it's impossible, but all we can do is try and put squads together and try and win football matches."

Alan Archibald acknowledged with gratitude the patience of the Partick board after the latest hot-seat casualty.

With just over four years in the job, Archibald is the longest-serving boss in the top flight but since bringing the Glasgow club up from the Championship in 2013 he has had to work hard to ensure survival.

Ahead of the trip to Dundee, where victory will see the Jags leapfrog their hosts, the former Firhill defender conceded his relative longevity gives him a sense of satisfaction but recognised boardroom backing has been crucial.

He said: "It makes me grateful for the board I work for and I have a better board than some other clubs.

"I have probably had a worse run at certain times than those managers who have lost their jobs.

"So I am thankful for the board I have got and they stuck by us and hopefully we can reward them by winning more games."

Thistle's 2-0 win over Hearts at the weekend made it three wins in a row and left them eight points ahead of bottom side Hamilton who host Aberdeen on Tuesday night.

And while the Maryhill club are aiming for a top-six spot against Dundee, who are unbeaten in four games, Archibald is still looking over his shoulder.

He said: "We have all been fighting a top-six battle and at the same time a relegation battle.

"I don't think it will change any time soon.

"Our incentive is to get in the top six and pull away from the teams below us.

"I have watched Dundee's last couple of games and they are flying high. It will be a real tough affair."

Source: PAR