NEW Dundee defender Steven Caulker admits he was bowled over by Neil McCann’s honesty after joining the Dens Park club on an 18-month contract.

The 26-year-old has opted for a switch north of the border after leaving Queens Park Rangers in January and Dundee boss McCann believes the England cap is a perfect replacement for Jack Hendry, who moved to Celtic on transfer deadline day.

Caulker recently trained with English League Two side Luton and had been linked with lucrative moves to China and Turkey.

The former Swansea centre-half, who made an £8million switch from Tottenham to Cardiff City in 2013, spoke of his struggles with depression, gambling and alcohol addiction last summer.

And after making only four appearances for QPR during the first half of the season, Caulker, who has also had loan spells at Liverpool and Southampton, reckons McCann can help him reignite his career.

Caulker said: “It’s been a strange six weeks for me. I’ve been training at Luton, training on my own.

“The call came in just the other day from Neil offering the chance to come up here and get away from everything back home and get my head down and focus on playing football.

“I met with him on Wednesday night and he blew me away with his honesty. He’s a real genuine man.

“He said to me here’s my chance to come and play. It’s one I want to take and I’m just really glad to be here.”

McCann, whose side host Motherwell in the Scottish Cup tomorrow, believes Caulker, whose one cap came in a 4-2 England loss to Sweden in November, 2012, a game in which he scored, will flourish in Scotland.

McCann said: “I think it’s one of the best pieces of business in the season, never mind January. I am that excited about it.

“To get someone in of Steven’s calibre to the club, first of all I thank the club for enabling that to happen but mostly I thank him for choosing to come up here.

“I want Steven to get back feeling like he belongs somewhere again.

“We’ve just sold Jack Hendry to Celtic so I’m really pleased to do this bit of business and I can’t wait for him to start.”

And McCann, whose team are two points above the Premiership relegation zone, added: “Clearly this is not about finances because Steven could have earned so much money going elsewhere - he had other offers on the table.

“I sold myself, I sold the team, I sold the club, I sold the environment that he could up here with a freshness.

“I want him to be a big player for us and enjoy himself again.”