Neil McCann: The transition from pundit's chair to managerial dugout

Dundee interim boss Neil McCann
Neil McCann is getting used to his new surroundings at Dens Park

Neil McCann has swapped the pundit's chair for the dugout after agreeing to become Dundee's interim boss until the end of the season.

But how hard is the transition? How difficult is it to swap the glare of the camera for the focus of thousands of supporters? BBC Sport Scotland looks at some of the big names who have crossed the Rubicon.


The former winger, who had a previous coaching spell at Dunfermline Athletic, has worked as a pundit covering Scottish football for Sky Sports. He decided to accept Scottish Premiership outfit Dundee's offer of becoming interim boss until the end of the season.

He succeeds Paul Hartley at Dens Park with Dundee second bottom of the table and fighting for their top-flight safety.

"It's not a big risk for me - it's maybe a big risk for the club, a lot of guys will think, because I've not been in a job before," said the 42-year-old.

Neil McCann

"This opportunity was just too good to turn down."

"I'm not going to kid anyone on and say, 'it's just going to be easy', because it's not. There's a lot of hard work ahead. The other sides in and around us will have that same mentality. It's a massive job.

"I think most people know the type of person I am, type of character, the standards that I liked to have when I was playing and training - those qualities I would like to think I'll bring to the football club.

"It's my job now to sit with the players and try to get them to understand the requirements that's going to get them that extra yard or that extra wee bit that's going to be enough to see us win games of football."

McCann started his playing career as a winger at Dundee in 1992 and enjoyed stints at Hearts, Rangers, Southampton and Falkirk before ending his career at Dens Park in 2011. He also won 26 caps, scoring three international goals.


Former Manchester United and England defender Gary Neville was sacked by Valencia in March 2016 after less than four months in charge of the Spanish club.

The 41-year-old, who was part of the England coaching set-up under Roy Hodgson, has returned to his previous role as Sky Sports analyst.

Valencia won three of their 16 league games under the former television pundit, and 10 of 28 games overall.

Neville said he wanted to stay but results had "not been to my standards" or those "required by this club". Neville's management career began with a Champions League loss to Lyon at the Mestalla and it was not until 13 February that Los Che clinched the first of only three league wins.

Gary Neville
Neville parted company with Valencia after four months in charge

Cup competitions provided some respite for Neville, with seven wins coming in the Copa del Rey and Europa League.

Neville retired from playing in 2011 after 602 Manchester United appearances and 85 England caps. He won 16 trophies at United and represented his country at five major tournaments.

Valencia under Neville
P28 W10 D7 L11 - W% 35.7
Won 3 of 16 league fixtures
League wins over Espanyol, Granada & Malaga
Lost 7-0 at Barcelona in semi-final of Copa del Rey
Lost on away goals to Athletic Bilbao in last 16 of Europa League


Former England captain Alan Shearer was in charge of Newcastle for a short spell in 2009, in his only stint in football management to date.

Shearer quit playing in 2006 as Newcastle's record goalscorer before becoming a Match of the Day pundit.

"I've been out of football for over four years and I'm not looking to get back into it," he told the BBC in 2013.

In eight games as manager, he could not prevent the Magpies being relegated from England's top flight.

Former Newcastle player and interim boss Alan Shearer, now a pundit on MOTD
Former Newcastle player and interim boss Alan Shearer is now a pundit on the BBC's MOTD

"I love my job and know I'm lucky to have it. Could I see myself returning to management? Probably not," Shearer told BBC Newcastle.

Born in Gosforth, just three miles from St James' Park, Shearer scored 206 goals in 404 appearances for his boyhood club after joining for a then-world record £15m fee in 1996.

He began his career at Southampton and won the Premier League with Blackburn Rovers in 1995 before moving on to Newcastle.

He was named Magpies manager on a short-term deal in April 2009, with boss Joe Kinnear undergoing triple heart bypass surgery. Shearer took over with the club two points in the relegation zone but one win in eight games saw them drop out of the Premier League, finishing one point behind Hull.

Newcastle under Alan Shearer
P8 W1 D2 L5 - W% 12.5
Lost 2-0 to Chelsea in first game in charge
Only victory was at home to Middlesbrough
Newcastle only scored four goals while Shearer was in charge


Bellshill-born McCoist was a Rangers player for 15 years as well as playing for St Johnstone, Sunderland, Kilmarnock and Scotland.

After retiring in 2001, McCoist continued to build a burgeoning media career, which included being a team captain on BBC's A Question of Sport.

He returned to football in 2004 as part of Walter Smith's Scotland coaching staff, and he followed Smith to Ibrox as assistant manger in 2007, before stepping up as his successor in summer 2011 while Rangers were still in the Scottish Premier League.

Former Rangers boss Ally McCoist
Ally McCoist has returned as a TV pundit following his managerial stint at Rangers

He subsequently led the side from the bottom tier of Scottish football by winning two consecutive league titles.

Expressing his gratitude to the Rangers supporters following his departure, McCoist said: "They were superb and they backed me and my staff.

"They also stood firm when their club was in dire straits and even at the bleakest moments they did not flinch.

"They are the heart and soul of this club and no-one should ever forget that."

McCoist has returned to his football pundit role since his managerial stint at Ibrox.

Ally McCoist

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