Dundee sack boss Paul Hartley after a run of defeats leaves club fighting drop

Loss to Accies a 'body blow' for Dundee

Dundee have sacked boss Paul Hartley after a run of seven straight defeats.

Saturday's 2-0 home loss to Hamilton left the Dens Park club in the relegation play-off position.

"I'm disappointed not to have got the chance to see out the season because I firmly believe we would have retained our Premiership status," Hartley said.

But Dundee managing director John Nelms said: "Unfortunately, the business we are in, sometimes change is necessary to achieve the goals we have set."

With five games remaining to climb out of the bottom two, Nelms informed the players of Hartley's departure today.

"I want to thank Paul for his time with the club," he added in a club statement.

"I think somebody in the near future is going to get a good, hard working manager."

Hartley succeeded John Brown as Dundee manager in February 2014 and guided the club to the Championship title that season.

In the Dens Park club's first season back in the Premiership, Hartley achieved a top-six finish. Last season Dundee narrowly missed out on the top six again and ended the campaign in eighth place.

He took training this morning but was informed on his return to Dens Park that his services were no longer required.

And in a statement, Hartley added: "I was confident we would have moved up the league table as there are some excellent players in the dressing-room, led by captain Darren O'Dea.

"However, I respect the decision made by the Dundee FC board and would like to wish everyone success in the final five games of the campaign.

"I'm very proud of what I achieved at Dundee since I was appointed manager in February, 2014.

"We won promotion to the SPFL top flight and we finished in the top six. There is no doubt I'm leaving the club in a far stronger position now from when I first joined."

Dundee won their opening match of this season away to Ross County but then failed to win in their next 10 Premiership games, with seven of those ending in defeat.

They were bottom of the table in October but then recovered and were sixth in February following a 5-1 victory at Motherwell.

That result, however, preceded the start of their current woeful run, which has included a 7-0 home defeat to Aberdeen.

Paul Hartley with Championship trophy
Paul Hartley took Dundee to the Scottish Championship title in his first season at the club

Hartley is the fifth manager to leave or be sacked by a Premiership club this season. Robbie Neilson left Hearts to join MK Dons, Lee Clark departed Kilmarnock for Bury, Mark Warburton and Rangers parted company, and Motherwell sacked Mark McGhee.

Due to the Scottish Cup semi-final weekend, Dundee's next match is away to Motherwell on 29 April.

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