JOHN BROWN was yesterday officially unveiled as Dundee's interim manager and used the opportunity to claim that some of those opposed to his appointment were motivated primarily by jealousy and bitterness.
The decision to sack Barry Smith last week and appoint Brown, who has not managed since leaving Clyde in November 2009, until the end of the season had been criticised by a section of the club's support and also questioned by a number of radio pundits.
Brown, who hopes to make a pitch for the job on a permanent basis if his short-term stint goes well, believes that latter group had designs on landing the job themselves.
"There are a lot of guys out there who have probably been critical about the appointment who've probably put their cv in last week and are saying it's the wrong appointment –maybe because they didn't get the opportunity," he said.
"There's a bitterness there. I've had pals phoning me and saying 'aye – you thought he was your pal'. I didn't want to say to them but he [an unidentified pundit] was one of the first who put himself in for the job after singing the previous manager's praises.
"That's football. There are a lot of guys with a lot of coaching badges that are out of work. It's easy for them to have a pop, but just wait and see what happens."
Brown's last public sighting before the weekend was at the front door of Ibrox last summer as he called upon Rangers supporters to denounce newly installed chief executive Charles Green. Although he did not mention it specifically, there was a suggestion yesterday he now regretted those actions.
"Anything I've done in life, you take responsibility," he added." There are things I've done that I regret but do you know what – you live with that. You stand up and take one on the chin. I'm here to take one on the chin for Dundee Football Club."
Brown takes over with Dundee bottom of the table, 15 points behind second-bottom St Mirren, and with just 11 games of the season remaining. He did not make any rash promises but was not entirely without hope. Dundee take on Tayside rivals St Johnstone at Dens Park tomorrow night.
"I want Dundee to be in the Premier League next year and that's what I'm putting over to the players," he added." Nothing's up until it's mathematically impossible. There's a 15-point gap and 33 points to play for. Until then, we carry on. There is no point in sitting back and expecting to get draws because we need to win games. I have to get that into the players' heads."
Brown was reluctant to discuss this weekend's William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-final with neighbours Dundee United but did reveal he hopes his interim period in charge will come to an end at the final at Hampden.