Paul on title win and future

Manager Paul Hartley spoke to Dundee FC Online shortly after his side clinched the SPFL Championship title with a 2-1 win at home to Dumbarton. The manager said, “I just think it was a great day for the football club. It’s been a long time coming. The fans were terrific today, we had great backing. The players rose to the occasion and they delivered. They’ve had a lot of criticism over the season about not performing to their best but at the end of the day they’ve won a championship”

“I’m really proud of them, they deserve this. They should really enjoy this moment in terms of winning the league because it doesn’t happen every year, winning things. The players have got to embrace it and enjoy the next couple of days.”

On a personal level, Paul said, “Emotionally I’m drained in terms of the game today, probably the last 14 games. Trying to get this club back to the top flight, we’ve managed to do that. I’m happy inside but it was an emotional game, a little bit nervy towards the end just trying to keep the ball out of the net but pleased, we’re back in the top flight and I think it’s where we belong.”

“We’ll be the only derby in the top flight next year and I think that’s a great thing for the city. I think it’s good for Scottish football. We’re the only derby and we want to have four games against our nearest rivals.”

The helicopter carrying the SPFL trophy circled over Dens with a minute of action remaining, the manager told us, “I didn’t notice anything, my mind was totally on the game and trying to get that result.”

As for what’s next for the club, “We’ll enjoy tonight and tomorrow, but I think we have to plan ahead in terms of where we want to be as a club. We’ll look at things over the next couple of weeks. How do we make the club better?”

“How do we put that team on the park that can compete in top flight football? How we can get better, in every department?”

Going on to talk about how it was a team effort that got the club over the line, he said “Every team that wins things, it’s about a team effort, it’s not about an individual. I think it’s about the club as a whole, we think we are going to be better. In terms of the people that are behind us now, who are going to make this club even better.”

“I’m really proud of the club, the players, the staff and everybody around. It’s not just about the players at a football club it’s about everyone that works here, it’s a special day for them also.”

Just under 11,000 fans packed Dens Park and roared the side home, Paul ended by praising the support, “The crowd were terrific, even after we conceded a goal they kept getting behind us and driving us on, I thought the atmosphere was terrific, this is a day for the supporters to enjoy.”