First Division leaders Dundee sack manager Jocky Scott
Scott cuts a despondent figure as his team lose heavily at bottom club Airdrie
By Jim Spence
Jocky Scott has been sacked as Dundee manager after the First Division leaders lost to bottom club Airdrie.
Scott was relieved of his duties at a board meeting at Dens Park, 15 months after taking charge for a third time.
Dundee's failure to win any of their last four games means their lead at the top has been cut to three points.
A statement on the official Dundee website said the unanimous decision was "not taken lightly" but was "essential and in the best interests of the club".
With Scott in charge, the Dark Blues won this season's Challenge Cup and lost only four league games, but last week they exited the Scottish Cup at the hands of quarter-final opponents Raith Rovers.
Scott last parted with Dundee in 2000 after guiding them to fifth in the Scottish Premier League, making way for the boom-and-bust Ivano Bonetti era.
BBC Scotland believes that the club will appoint a new manager by close of business on Monday at the latest, with former players Ian McCall, the Partick Thistle boss, and Gordon Chisholm, in charge at Queen of the South, among the front-runners.
The club statement makes it plain that the board were concerned that the team would fail to clinch promotion.
It says of Scott's sacking: "The unanimous decision of the board was not taken lightly, but it was felt that in view of results since the turn of the year the move was essential and in the best interests of the club.
We felt it was vital this move was made while there was still enough time for a new manager to be appointed and to secure the victories required to get the team back to the SPL
Dundee FC statement
"As a board we felt it was vital this move was made while there was still enough time for a new manager to be appointed and to secure the victories required to get the team back to the SPL at the end of the season.
"Every effort will be made to ensure the appointment of a new manager is made as quickly as possible. The club will not be advertising the post.
"The board would like to take this opportunity to thank Jocky Scott for his work since returning as manager in the autumn of 2008.
"His devotion to his duties and desire to get the team back to where he feels it belongs have been admirable."
Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland after Saturday's match, Scott was in no mood to seek excuses for the shock defeat.
He said only: "That was a total embarrassment, the second half, and I can only apologise to the support we had down here today, because we had a great support.
"In the first half we did OK, apart from creating chances from good build-up play, but the second half was a total embarrassment, just not good enough."
The Dees had drawn in midweek at Somerset Park with First Division strugglers Ayr United, but the loss at Airdrie means they could be caught at the First Division summit by fourth-placed Ross County, who trail by six points but who have two games in hand.
Breathing down their necks in second place are Terry Butcher's Inverness Caledonian Thistle, who are three points adrift having played the same number of matches.
Dundee are due to head to the Caledonian Stadium on the final day of the season.
Last summer, club director Calum Melville, whose money has helped to provide Scott with a squad capable of contesting the championship, said: "Dundee are spending a fifth season in the First Division, which from our point of view is totally unacceptable. That is the bottom line.
"The First Division is a difficult league to get out of. We think we've brought in enough good players, particularly up front, that will provide us with enough goals to get promoted."
One of those players is Leigh Griffiths, a £125,000 summer signing from Livingston, who has kept his side of the deal by scoring 19 goals so far in his first season at the Dens Park.
Evidently, he will be expected to continue to find the net as the club make a final push for promotion.
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