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  1. Darren O'Dea talks to the broadcast media before Celtic visit on Sunday.
  2. O'Dea was sent for an early bath in the opening stages our 3-2 defeat at the hands of St Mirren with the defender even joking he wanted to 'do a Zidane' and go out in style. The former Republic of Ireland centre-back had called time on his professional football career a few weeks back and announced he would be taking on the role as coach of Motherwell’s under-18s. Yesterday’s defeat at Dens Park would be his last match but unfortunately it would not end on a high for O’Dea. The defender lasted just 19 minutes before he was shown a straight red card for hauling down Brad Lyons after the Saints player took advantage of some poor control from O’Dea. Ever the professional, O’Dea was quick to take the limelight away from himself, instead focusing on the young arrivals who made the Dundee squad but not before light-heartedly joking about his final contribution on a football field. “It’s not how I wanted it to finish but it wasn't about me, it was about the start of a new cycle for the club," said O'Dea. Finlay Robertson, Josh Mulligan, Lyle Cameron, Max Anderson are great young kids and we have plenty more behind them. I went out in style though, eh? I wanted to do a Zidane with a headbutt but it ended up with a bad touch. It's about the club though and it’s time to get to work quickly." In total, Darren O’Dea made 102 appearances for the club since his arrival in January 2016, finding the net a total of five times. Everyone from The Dark Blue Forums would like to thank O’Dea for his contribution over the years for the club and would also like to wish him all the best in his future coaching role with Motherwell.
  3. It looked to be the same old story for Dundee when Hibs took the lead with less than a minute gone after Genseric Kusunga headed the ball into his own net then a Ryan Porteous header doubled the home teams lead after half an hour. Normally that would be game over for Dundee but a Kenny Miller strike on the stroke of half time and a beautiful goal from Paul McGowan minutes into the second half earned the Dark Blues what looked like an unlikely point. “What Impressed me probably was the start,” said O’Dea to DeeTV after the match. “I know it sounds strange but until you’ve been in that position, you don’t know how hard it is to take when you’ve set up all week and trained the way we have all week and then a goal like that happens, listen its stuff we can prevent but it’s a bit of a freak goal. “It can knock the stuffing out of you but I actually though probably the first 25 minutes was the most control we had over the game, probably half hour even. They get their second goal which I think knocked us off our stride then but then again, we showed character in abundance. Ralphie (Nathan Ralph) does brilliantly down the side where he wants to be and wants the ball to be and we get a goal. “I think we sensed it then the feeling just changed both with us and them (Hibs). I’ve played in front of big crowds. It’s a fantastic atmosphere here (Easter Road), great stadium and really loyal supporters but when you’re playing in front of ten people and they groan, it makes a little bit of noise but when you’re in front of 20,000 people and they groan, it makes a much bigger noise, which obviously seems like they are turning on them. “And it does feed to the players some time and we sensed that, they sensed that, and it turned into a great start to the second half. I’m proud of the players for the character they have shown, everyone in the dressing. We’ll take it. It’s a good point away to Hibs. “I thought defensively we were good and we look a massive threat going forward so as a team I thought we were excellent. “The confidence is starting to grow in the team.”
  4. Our season has a distinct lack of positives around it so far and sadly the fact that we are still in touching distance of ninth place is the only plus sign that seems to be going for us right now. Despite this, Darren O’Dea can’t take any comfort when looking at the league table and seeing there are other teams in our position and struggling because unless this squad start picking up points, they could very well disconnected from the rest of the teams very quickly. “I am not interested in looking at the league and thinking we’re OK” said O’Dea. “We can’t look at the table and take consolation from the fact we are not detached. We are miles away from the amount of points we wanted at this stage, 10 games in. If you keep looking at the table, losing games but thinking you are OK it only takes a week or two and then you’re not OK any more. “You can be detached very quickly in this league so nobody here is looking at the table thinking we are all right. You can’t be sitting here thinking that we will click one day and suddenly blow a team away. “That’s not going to happen. We are going to have to scrap and fight for every single point we can get our hands on. “Once we do that then slowly and surely we can start looking at playing our way out.”
  5. Saturdays goalless draw may have been a drab affair for the punters that paid to get in but it did end Dundee’s recent run of defeats against an Ayrshire side who have recently turned the corner since the arrival of new manager Steve Clarke. He said: “I felt on Saturday, against a real good side in terms of their organisation to go away from home and get big results with Jones and Boyd up front, we contained them for a lot of the game. “We’re pleased with the point, I’m really happy for them because they’ve been working hard to keep a clean sheet. “Now we need to start building and scoring goals that get us three points rather than one.” Meanwhile, skipper Darren O’Dea is set to serve a two-match suspension after being given a red card near the end of Saturdays match with McCann confessing he had no complaints about his captain getting an early bath. So far this season in the league, O’Dea has picked up eight yellow and two red cards.
  6. “Darren is probably looking at three weeks now, going by the scan." McCann told the media. “He has been properly assessed and it is a bit of a blow. “It’s his knee. He took a knock on it against Hamilton and we’ve got the scan back. “It suggested it was a wee injury to one of his ligaments so we had to make sure and that is the case.” With O'Dea ruled out, it will more than likely mean that the young paring of Kerr Waddell and Jack Hendry will face Aberdeen at the centre of defence. Randy Wolters also looks set to miss tomorrows game but Roarie Deacon has just returned to training so may feature at some point.
  7. “I said I was going into the Derry but that was weeks ago,” admitted O’Dea. “It’s been an up and down season and it’s been tough on the players because we give everything but the fans have always been here. “They have been here before me and they will be here after me. “It was a bit of relief and I decided ages ago if I had scored I was going in. On the caution he received for his celebration, O’Dea declared: “I took the booking but it was well worth it.” The Irishman had only scored one penalty in his career previously to Saturdays goal and it also came in a Dark Blue jersey and against the same opponents. The Irishman said: “I have hardly taken a penalty in my career so it’s a bit new to me,” “I thought beforehand: ‘If there is any doubt in my head then I am going to leather this.’ “To be honest with you, for the first one away at Ross County there was a bit of pressure. In fact, there was no one on the pitch who had taken a penalty so there was a bit of responsibility on me to take it. “This time, I was sure there were other people who would have taken it but I scored the last one so was happy to take it again. “I think every footballer should be able to take one. “Tom Hateley is the normal set-piece taker so he might have taken it if he had been on the pitch but I was happy to score. “It was great and it was what we deserved.”
  8. But Dundee skipper Darren O’Dea admits he felt even lower after Tuesday’s 2-1 reversal at Ross County. The experienced defender’s logic is simple — when you don’t get what you should from a game, defeat is so much harder to take. “It maybe sounds strange to say it but the defeat on Tuesday hurt a little bit more than the one against Aberdeen,” he said. “You come off the pitch after a game like Friday deflated, of course you do, and we were all really down. “But you know you deserved nothing from the game. We deserved the doing we got. “In Dingwall we knew we deserved to take something and that’s why it hurts more. “But for a contentious decision right at the end we would have taken a point, so getting nothing was hard to take.” He was referring to Mark O’Hara’s last-minute challenge on Michael Gardyne, Dundee felt was a fair one, but for which referee John Beaton pointed to the spot, leading to Liam Boyce’s dramatic winner. What happened at the other end seconds later, and ended with Danny Williams being red-carded after a bust-up involving several players, only heightened O’Dea’s sense of injustice. As well as putting that behind him, though, he is able to take a wider view and extract positives from the experience. “Mark O’Hara gets booked for diving when we go up the pitch. “I know some of the lads at Ross County and I was chatting to them at the end. They knew that was more of a penalty than the one they got for Mark’s challenge. “As hard as that was to take, as an experienced pro I can look at the bigger picture and see we stood up and weren’t hiding during the game. “That’s very important for me because, listen, it is something we can take going forward and build on. “Whatever anybody said about us after last Friday’s performance against Aberdeen, I don’t think anyone said anything harsher than the things we said to ourselves. We questioned ourselves. “But on Tuesday the fight was there, the desire and the spirit. “These things should never been in question in football but sometimes they are, and it was important we showed them. “We should have come down the road from Ross County with at least a point but we didn’t and we move on. We have to go and prepare for the next game.” To say the past month and a bit has been difficult for O’Dea and his team-mates is an understatement. Five defeats in a row, 14 goals conceded and just two scored has sapped morale and confidence. He, though, believes the spirit displayed up north shows Dundee can halt the slide and be safe come the end of the season. “We are going to be in the bottom half, so six of our last seven games are going to be against bottom-six teams because we have Hamilton as well as Hearts before the split. “If you look through those teams they are much the same and everyone is fighting. The bare minimum is that we match the fight the rest show. “If we do, then I definitely believe we are good enough to be winning the games we need. “It’s not going to be about nice football and performances don’t matter, only results do.”
  9. The Dark Blues produced their worst performance for many a day as they were thrashed 7-0 at home by Aberdeen on Friday night. It was their heaviest defeat since 1971 and absolute torture for the fans who had to sit and watch until they decided their living room or the pub was a better bet. Combined with Saturday’s results involving the other Premiership bottom six teams, the hammering at the hands of the Dons has left Dundee right in the thick of a relegation battle. If they can’t somehow get the heads up for tomorrow night’s crucial clash with Ross County in Dingwall then it will look like they are in freefall at exactly the wrong time of the season. Manager Paul Hartley knows that and O’Dea certainly knows that. The Irish defender was absolutely scathing about Friday’s horror show and, to be honest, you couldn’t argue with a word of his brutal assessment. He won’t be forgetting the seven Aberdeen goals any time soon and neither will his teammates. The Dundee skipper said: “It was weak and that is a night we will all remember for years to come. “I hope everyone had sleepless nights after that. “It was just embarrassing for that to happen at home and on live TV. “To be honest, if that were a Sunday league game it would feel just as embarrassing. “There is no point in pointing fingers, collectively it was everyone (to blame) because you don’t lose 7-0 if only two or three are off it. “We folded – that’s what happened. “When you lose a game like that it’s not your ability that is in question it’s your character. “That for me is unacceptable because if your character is being questioned then it’s an embarrassment. “Results like that can knock the stuffing out of the team if you’re weak. “What you have to do is show you have the b**** to come back from it. “We’ll find out on Tuesday up at Ross County who has what is required to fight back.” O’Dea’s damning indictment continued, with the former Celtic man claiming that he knew the Dark Blues had given up the ghost long before the end of the match. He said: “I wouldn’t want to be on a night out with that team and for a fight to break out. “If anything kicked off I wouldn’t want to be there. “You look around and you look for a bit of fight and people rolling up their sleeves. “Even at 4-0 down you have to show it but there was none. “Collectively, there was nothing and I’m bringing myself into that too. I’m not pointing fingers at anyone. “I can’t think of another game where I have looked around a pitch and thought: ‘We are dead, we are finished here.’ “You just want off the pitch. “It was damage limitation and we didn’t even manage to do that well.” There will now be, in O’Dea’s words, a serious “test of character” tomorrow against fellow strugglers County. He was asked if Dundee were now in relegation trouble and he replied: “Yeah, probably. “It’s a test of character now and I like that. “I don’t like the fact that it has to be tested but that’s the way it’s going to be. “We have to stand up or lie down. “If you want to lie down you wouldn’t want another game so soon but, for me, I want to go again. “It won’t get any easier because we have Ross County then Hearts so we’ve got tough games coming up. “To be honest, they are all tough and we have to be much, much better.”
  10. The Dens manager made the comment following his team’s desperately disappointing defeat and display against St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park on Saturday. Dundee never recovered from the loss of two early goals with O’Dea candidly confessing that they were completely outfought by Saints. However, with a match against Celtic looming large on the horizon on Sunday at Dens, the players simply have to pick themselves up. O’Dea said: “Yes, the manager’s right. When you go from the high of beating Rangers at home and then even better against Motherwell . . . “We are a strange team at times. The worst thing as a manager is when you don’t know what you are going to get and that’s not good enough. “It’s nothing to do with effort or desire but anyone who is surprised that they were going to get a tough game here needs a reality check. “It is always difficult here as they are a very good team. They know exactly what they are doing. “We were off it and got punished for it. “Sometimes when you come off the pitch and you have been beaten you can accept it a little bit if you have been outplayed. “But we were outfought and that’s hard to take. “If you have competed to your best ability and are beaten by good play . . . but we were beaten because we weren’t ready for a fight and they were. “Look, we have a couple of tough games coming up but in a strange way it might be good for us to play against two good footballing teams in Celtic and Aberdeen. “So we need to pick up quickly and cannot feel sorry for ourselves as these are top teams.”
  11. However, one thing the 30-year-old is certain of is the points total he believes his side have to amass to realise their top-six dream. The Dark Blues are currently sitting in sixth place ahead of tonight’s match with Partick Thistle at Dens following wins in their last two games against Motherwell and Rangers. There are though still just eight points separating Dundee from Inverness in the relegation play-off spot and the big Irishman is determined to beat the Jags and start looking up the way towards fifth-placed St Johnstone rather than over his shoulder. He said: “It all boils down to the Partick game. If we win, our next game is against St Johnstone. “You can look at this league so many different ways this season. “The league has confused me because I don’t know what I am trying to do – trying just to stay in the league or win it! It is very difficult to suss out. “So it is just a case of trying to win games. “A while ago, I stopped looking at the league and thought of it as we need a certain amount of points. I think 39 would be enough to get us into the top six. “I think you know roughly where you will end up if you have that. “We know how many points we need to get into sixth place which is where we want to be. “The league has been so up and down. I think it was against Hearts here where we were bottom with 20 minutes to go and at the end of the game, we were seventh. “The league table has been mental. Related Content Darren O’Dea says Dundee must beat Ross County for top six Beat Dundee and Ross County are nearly in the top six Dundee boss Paul Hartley sets players triple target after Rangers triumph Goalscorer Kevin Holt admits home draw wasn't good result for Dundee “But tomorrow is a chance to get another win and if we do we would really be looking up rather than down. “So it is a big game. This club needs to push forward and as players, we need to push forward.” The last time Dundee played Partick at Dens, they lost 2-0. It was the club’s sixth defeat in a row and it prompted a back-to-basics change of tactics from boss Paul Hartley. O’Dea added: “That Partick game earlier in the season was the low point. We had lost a few and there was a lot of apprehension that night. “The manager spoke to us after the game and changed things. “It took a lot of courage to stand up and change things from the top. “The players have responded really well to it. “It was vital that we got points and now that we have put a few results together it is great to see players express themselves and score goals. “But three games ago, we weren’t too happy against Kilmarnock but two games later you are thinking you are the best Dundee team of all time! But seriously, you need to keep level headed. It is only six points – that’s all it is. “The performances have been really good but it is just two games and two wins. “So we need to go again against Partick in what is a massive game. “It is a game against a team that is in a similar position to us so a win would go a long way to trying to stay in the top six.”
  12. Darren O'Dea completed his B licence last week – but joked Paul Hartley has probably put him off the idea of becoming a boss. The Dundee skipper came through his studies last week before going on to teach Rangers a lesson in Sunday’s 2-1 Premiership victory at Dens Park. Now 30, O’Dea is planning for life after he hangs up his boots but admits the amount of hours Dens Park gaffer Hartley puts in at the club is enough to put him off football management for life. He claims the boss is so focused on success that he even knows the seven-year-olds playing at the Dark Blues. Dundee manager Paul Hartley (Photos: SNS Group) A smiling O’Dea said: “I passed my B licence exams and then went out and beat Rangers so it topped off a great week. “I will be doing my A licence in the summer but if you see the amount of work Paul actually puts in at Dundee, it is enough to turn you away from being a manager! “He watches players all the time. If the first team are not playing he will watch the 20s. He knows all the 15-year-old players that are coming through. He will even go below that and watch the seven-year-olds. “He knows everything that is happening at this club. He works harder than anybody else here and puts the hours in. Dundee's Darren O'Dea “It is a kind of template for anybody under him. He puts in the work so he expects everybody else to do the same. Paul’s gearing himself up to be a top manager. “That’s testament to the fact the manager’s training sessions are up there with the best I have experienced in my career. “Dundee train with such high intensity and everything he does is designed for being at a top club. “Paul’s done fantastically well at Dundee and has re-established us as a proper top-flight team.” O’Dea claims the seeds of the victory over struggling Rangers on Tayside were sown during a midweek conversation with the Dundee gaffer. Dundee manager Paul Hartley shouts instructions to his side from the touchline at Celtic Park The defender was a standout as he helped the Dark Blues to their first home win over Rangers in 25 years while the three points also hoisted Hartley’s men into the Premiership’s top six. O’Dea said: “I spoke with the manager in midweek before the Rangers game and he said that we were going to go for it against them at Dens. “We were going to press them all over the pitch. We have a young, fit side and we were going to utilise that against Rangers. “He told us that it was going to take real energy. Although I was worried we wouldn’t be able to keep those energy levels up for the entire 90 minutes. Celtic's Leigh Griffiths gets a shot off as he is closed down by Darren O'Dea “But when we got 2-0 up I remember thinking that our legs were not going to go. “Even when Rangers made it 2-1 we were still chasing down their keeper. In fact we looked a threat ourselves and could have added to our lead. “When we did concede we didn’t need to gee people up, it was more a case of calming people down. “The manager’s game plan worked a treat as we never let Rangers settle for a minute. It was a fantastic result.”
  13. Skipper on The Football Show talking about his career http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/the-football-show-by-ballsie/e/48999563?autoplay=true
  14. As previously reported in The Courier, Megan Brough, 26, gave birth to son Julian on December 21 while wearing her dad’s 1962 Dark Blues replica league winning jersey. Having given birth more than seven weeks early, die-hard Dee Megan made a social media plea to the club in the hope she could get the commemorative jersey autographed. The new mum attended Dens Park while heavily pregnant and wanted the special shirt as a “memento” of Julian’s birth. On Tuesday, Megan, partner Ryan and baby Julian attended Dens Park to be presented with the signed top. Speaking after being presented with the special shirt, Megan said: “It was really nice of the players. “I really wasn’t expecting anything like this. I thought I would just hand in the top and get it signed. “A big thank you to all the players for coming out. “Julian’s room will be a Dens Park shrine.”
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