Dundee sacked Jim McIntyre to dispel the “very toxic” environment at the relegated Scottish Premiership club, says managing director John Nelms.

McIntyre replaced Neil McCann as manager eight games into the campaign.

Youth coach James McPake will oversee the final game of the season when St Mirren visit Dens Park on Saturday.

“Moving forward into next season it was time to get rid of all the negativity and really start working on the positives,” Nelms told BBC Scotland.

“We have a very toxic feel around the place at the moment. That was the reason for the timing.

“The losses wear on players, they wear on the staff. It’s just a bad feeling. People don’t like losing. If you get in a rut like that, the hardest thing in the world is to get out of it. We had to make a change to eradicate that feeling.”

McIntyre and assistant Jimmy Boyle left after Saturday’s win at Livingston, while relegation was confirmed the weekend before following a run of 10 successive defeats.

Nelms revealed there were already “probably over 100” managers interested in replacing them and that his focus was on identifying a successor.

Kenny Miller, who began the season as player-manager of Livingston, has another year to run on his Dundee deal but Nelms said the veteran striker “has not knocked on my door at all”.

While acknowledging a rookie coach such as McPake would be “a risk”, Nelms went on to say: “We have to make sure if it’s a young manager, they have someone very strong behind them.

“We’ve changed our philosophy since bringing Jim in. We wanted 300 games at a certain level, we wanted a certain win percentage, then we talked to loads of people. Everyone thought Jim was the right person but he couldn’t get it done.

“We will follow a similar procedure. You don’t necessarily have to meet all the criteria but we have to start with a basis, then we may shy away from aspects of that.”

Repeating his commitment to the club and the development of a new stadium, the American added that finances would be “quite solid” going into the Championship.

“We want to give the new manager the best opportunity to find players and we have a good core of contracted players to build around,” said Nelms.