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  1. James McPake talks today about his new role at Dens Park as Manager if Dundee FC
  2. Unfortunately, those words have not aged well and we continue to make a laughing stock of his promise even under new management. Only taking into account league matches, so far this season we have amassed just a single home win which came back at the start of December when we thrashed Hamilton 4-0. Going a bit further back to season 2017-18, the faithful Dark Blues fans only witnessed six wins at home all season. If we can’t muster up some much-needed wins in our last two home matches against Hamilton and St Mirren, we will have only won seven home matches in two years. That can only be describe as utterly abysmal. When Hamilton visit us on the 4th May, it will mean that we have only seen the Dee win twice at Dens in 364 days. If Dundee manage a win, that would make it three and they would have all came against Hamilton! There’s no denying that our home form has contributed greatly to our current predicament but I’ve failed to grasp just how shite it’s been for the past few years. I knew it was awful but not on this scale. Fortress Dens? Not a chance. You may as well be comparing it to a brothel with the amount of times we’ve been shafted on home soil the past few years.
  3. Both clubs have endured a nightmare start to their seasons and even at this early stage, realistic possibility that either could be playing Championship football next term is a very realistic possibility. St Mirren’s only win in the league so far since gaining promotion came on the opening day of the season. Dundee should have started their league campaign with an away victory but a howler from Jack Hamilton in the Dee goal along with a missed penalty from Sofien Moussa made it a day to forget for the away fans. This has been St Mirren’s only victory so far and their poor form cost Alan Stubbs his job very early into the season. New manager Oran Kearney overseen a point against Celtic in his first match in charge but since then he has been unable to stop the rot of defeats. Jim McIntyre has yet to pick up a point since he took over at Dundee and with so much riding on this game, every Dee will be hoping and praying that he can eventually get off the mark, beginning with a victory. A draw would buck the trend of defeats we have suffered but it has to be a win for Dundee if we want to change our fortunes on the field. Mcintyre has reported that left-back Nathan Ralph has done well in training since recovering from his injury and he will be further boosted with Paul McGowan and Martin Woods pushing for a starting place. Darren O’Dea and Andy Boyle were both forced off with injuries against Motherwell but Boyle should be fine while O’Dea will be monitored due to his being a head knock. The only piece of news about St Mirren is that club captain Stephen McGinn will more than likely miss Saturdays ties due to a hamstring problem. Last Meeting | St Mirren 2-1 Dundee August 4th 2018 Dundee manager Neil McCann rued Jack Hamilton's "bad error", which helped St Mirren secure an opening-day Scottish Premiership win. Danny Mullen's header gave the Paisley side the maiden goal of the league season, but Elton Ngwatala levelled. Dundee could have gone ahead in the second half after Craig Samson fouled Jean Alassane Mendy, but the goalkeeper saved Sofien Moussa's spot-kick. And Ryan Flynn robbed keeper Hamilton to set up Mullen for the winner. "He just caught himself in two minds. He'll learn from that," said McCann. After St Mirren chairman Gordon Scott had unfurled the Championship flag to mark last season's title triumph, the match inexplicably started a little before the scheduled 15:00 kick-off time and the hosts seemed eager to make an early impression. The endeavour of Cammy Smith eventually led to Paul McGinn crossing for Mullen to net. And following Ngwatala's equaliser, chances also fell the way of Matty Willock and Smith, before keeper Hamilton had to deal with efforts by McGinn and Smith. Dundee, too, were menacing in the final third and, even before Ngwatala had lashed the equaliser in from distance, Mendy and Moussa had threatened for Neil McCann's side. Mendy was too high with a shot after escaping his marker and the Senegalese winger then capitalised on a mix-up between Jack Baird and Samson to win Dundee's spot-kick, only for Moussa to have his tame effort saved. New St Mirren boss Alan Stubbs sent on Flynn in place of Ross Stewart, and the substitute's pressure on the hesitant Hamilton was rewarded as he stole possession, rounded the keeper and squared for Mullen to tap home. (Report: BBC) Line Ups St Mirren: Samson, McGinn, Baird, Kpekawa, Coulson, McGinn, Willock, Magennis (Kellerman 90), Smith (McShane 86), Mullen, Stewart (Flynn 77) Subs Not Used: Heaton, Kellerman, Cooke, King, Rogers Dundee: Hamilton, Curran, Caulker, Meekings, Kerr, Spence, McGowan (Wighton 87), Ngwatala, Madianga, Mendy, Moussa Sub Not Used: Ralph, Kusunga, Parish, Nabi, Moore, Henvey Att: 5,470 Ref: Alan Muir League Head To Head P204 W85 D42 L77 Home P100 W56 D18 L26 Away P104 W29 D24 L51 Top Five League Goal Scorers Tommy McDermott: 8 Alan Cousin: 8 Johnny Bell: 7 Alan Gilzean: 7 Ray Stephen: 7 Biggest Win 9-2: Dens Park, February 29th 1964 Biggest Defeat 3-10: Carolina Port, February 2nd 1884 Highest Scoring Match 3-10: Carolina Port, February 2nd 1884 Highest Attendance (Dens Park) 34,000: 0-0, February 5th 1949, Scottish Cup 2nd Round Ticket Information Adults: £24 Concessions: £16 Under 18s: £10 Family Area Priced tickets available in the Bobby Cox Stand Rows A – Y, Seats 1 – 47 with prices as follows: Adult and one child under 12: £26 Two adults and two children under 12: £50 With additional children under 12: £2 Under 12 and Under 16 tickets can only be bought as part of a family group
  4. Both clubs have endured a nightmare start to their seasons and even at this early stage, realistic possibility that either could be playing Championship football next term is a very realistic possibility. St Mirren’s only win in the league so far since gaining promotion came on the opening day of the season. Dundee should have started their league campaign with an away victory but a howler from Jack Hamilton in the Dee goal along with a missed penalty from Sofien Moussa made it a day to forget for the away fans. This has been St Mirren’s only victory so far and their poor form cost Alan Stubbs his job very early into the season. New manager Oran Kearney overseen a point against Celtic in his first match in charge but since then he has been unable to stop the rot of defeats. Jim McIntyre has yet to pick up a point since he took over at Dundee and with so much riding on this game, every Dee will be hoping and praying that he can eventually get off the mark, beginning with a victory. A draw would buck the trend of defeats we have suffered but it has to be a win for Dundee if we want to change our fortunes on the field. Mcintyre has reported that left-back Nathan Ralph has done well in training since recovering from his injury and he will be further boosted with Paul McGowan and Martin Woods pushing for a starting place. Darren O’Dea and Andy Boyle were both forced off with injuries against Motherwell but Boyle should be fine while O’Dea will be monitored due to his being a head knock. The only piece of news about St Mirren is that club captain Stephen McGinn will more than likely miss Saturdays ties due to a hamstring problem. Last Meeting | St Mirren 2-1 Dundee August 4th 2018 Dundee manager Neil McCann rued Jack Hamilton's "bad error", which helped St Mirren secure an opening-day Scottish Premiership win. Danny Mullen's header gave the Paisley side the maiden goal of the league season, but Elton Ngwatala levelled. Dundee could have gone ahead in the second half after Craig Samson fouled Jean Alassane Mendy, but the goalkeeper saved Sofien Moussa's spot-kick. And Ryan Flynn robbed keeper Hamilton to set up Mullen for the winner. "He just caught himself in two minds. He'll learn from that," said McCann. After St Mirren chairman Gordon Scott had unfurled the Championship flag to mark last season's title triumph, the match inexplicably started a little before the scheduled 15:00 kick-off time and the hosts seemed eager to make an early impression. The endeavour of Cammy Smith eventually led to Paul McGinn crossing for Mullen to net. And following Ngwatala's equaliser, chances also fell the way of Matty Willock and Smith, before keeper Hamilton had to deal with efforts by McGinn and Smith. Dundee, too, were menacing in the final third and, even before Ngwatala had lashed the equaliser in from distance, Mendy and Moussa had threatened for Neil McCann's side. Mendy was too high with a shot after escaping his marker and the Senegalese winger then capitalised on a mix-up between Jack Baird and Samson to win Dundee's spot-kick, only for Moussa to have his tame effort saved. New St Mirren boss Alan Stubbs sent on Flynn in place of Ross Stewart, and the substitute's pressure on the hesitant Hamilton was rewarded as he stole possession, rounded the keeper and squared for Mullen to tap home. (Report: BBC) Line Ups St Mirren: Samson, McGinn, Baird, Kpekawa, Coulson, McGinn, Willock, Magennis (Kellerman 90), Smith (McShane 86), Mullen, Stewart (Flynn 77) Subs Not Used: Heaton, Kellerman, Cooke, King, Rogers Dundee: Hamilton, Curran, Caulker, Meekings, Kerr, Spence, McGowan (Wighton 87), Ngwatala, Madianga, Mendy, Moussa Sub Not Used: Ralph, Kusunga, Parish, Nabi, Moore, Henvey Att: 5,470 Ref: Alan Muir League Head To Head P204 W85 D42 L77 Home P100 W56 D18 L26 Away P104 W29 D24 L51 Top Five League Goal Scorers Tommy McDermott: 8 Alan Cousin: 8 Johnny Bell: 7 Alan Gilzean: 7 Ray Stephen: 7 Biggest Win 9-2: Dens Park, February 29th 1964 Biggest Defeat 3-10: Carolina Port, February 2nd 1884 Highest Scoring Match 3-10: Carolina Port, February 2nd 1884 Highest Attendance (Dens Park) 34,000: 0-0, February 5th 1949, Scottish Cup 2nd Round Ticket Information Adults: £24 Concessions: £16 Under 18s: £10 Family Area Priced tickets available in the Bobby Cox Stand Rows A – Y, Seats 1 – 47 with prices as follows: Adult and one child under 12: £26 Two adults and two children under 12: £50 With additional children under 12: £2 Under 12 and Under 16 tickets can only be bought as part of a family group View full match preview
  5. This is a Category B fixture and Ticket Information for this game is as follows: Prices for all area's of the ground are as follows: Adults: £24 Concessions: £16 Under 18's: £10 Family Area Priced tickets available in the Bobby Cox Stand, Rows A – Y, Seats 1 – 47 with prices as follows: Adult and One Child Under 12: £26 Two Adults and Two Children Under 12: £50 Additional Children Under 12: £2 *The Under 12 and Under 16 tickets can only be bought as part of a family group The ticket office is becoming increasingly busy on match-days and fans are encouraged to buy their tickets as early as possible. The ticket office is open from 10am on match-days. Tickets are available from the ticket office, in person or by phone on 01382 889966 (Option 1) or online A reminder that season tickets holders can claim two free tickets for any match throughout the season.
  6. The Dark Blues are currently on their worse ever run of defeats against the Dons with nine straight losses and we haven't tasted victory over them in twelve since Thomas Konrad and David Clarkson scored to give us a 2-1 win in the Scottish Cup 4th round back in 2014. If we exclude that victory in the cup, we have went a full NINETEEN matches since we last managed a league victory over the Dons. This came at Dens when Neil Barrett scored the only goal of the match way back in 2004! That's some depressing reading right there! PREVIEW DUNDEE started off their campaign by gifting St Mirren al three points last Saturday. Last season’s attacking options reared their ugly head with it being a case of déjà vu for players, management and supporters. Then we had the minute of madness at the back that ultimately gifted the home side all three points. It would be very harsh however to start writing off players and team with some knee-jerk comments. Of course, the Dunfermline game gave us an indication that we were severely lacking in some areas but hopefully when we recruit players to fill these voids, then we will see a team that will hopefully improve on last terms league position. Roarie Deacon is back in training but he is still a few weeks away from being included in the matchday squad. ABERDEEN started off their Premiership campaign with a 1-1 draw against ten-man The Rangers last weekend. The Dons played for the best part of 80 minutes with a man advantage but despite this, they needed an injury time equaliser with their only shot on target. Derek McInnes team have on course been on European duty this summer when they came up against English side Burnley. They certainly didn’t let themselves down by more than matching their opponents from the self-proclaimed ‘Best league in the world.’ Unfortunately, despite a 1-1 draw at home, Burnley would proceed to the next round of the competition but they would need extra-time to get passed he har working Dons. Scott McKenna will miss out due to injury who will be out for around six to eight weeks and joins long term casualties Mark Reynolds and Tommie Hoban along with Shay Logan who is serving a suspension. HEAD TO HEAD RECORD Total P258 W53 D79 L126 F289 A433 Home P128 W32 D41 L55 F169 A227 Away P125 W20 D38 L67 F117 A197 Neutral P5 W1 D0 L4 F3 A9 STATS Top Goal scorer Alan Gilzean, 14 goals (9: League, 5: League Cup) Consecutive Games Scored Alan Gilzean: 10 goals, 5 games, August 201th 1960 to September 16th 1961 Biggest Win 6-0, Dens Park, November 18th 1905 and Dens Park, September 3rd 1960 (League Cup Group 4) Record Attendance and Lowest Home High: 41,000, 4-0, May 8th 1952, Scottish Cup Quarter Final Low: 5,369, 0-1, January 11th 1993 TICKET INFORMATION (Taken From Official Dundee Website) The ticket office is open from 10am on matchdays. Prices for the Aberdeen match are £26 (adults) and £19 concessions (Over 65 or Students with valid student photo ID), Under 18s are £12 Family Area Priced tickets available in the Bobby Cox Stand Rows A – Y, Seats 1 – 47 with prices as follows: Adult and one child under 12 £31 Two adults and two children under 12 £57 With additional children under 12 at £ 5 Under 12 tickets can only be bought as part of a family group Under 16 tickets can be bought without an adult ticket
  7. The Dark Blues are currently on their worse ever run of defeats against the Dons with nine straight losses and we haven't tasted victory over them in twelve since Thomas Konrad and David Clarkson scored to give us a 2-1 win in the Scottish Cup 4th round back in 2014. If we exclude that victory in the cup, we have went a full NINETEEN matches since we last managed a league victory over the Dons. This came at Dens when Neil Barrett scored the only goal of the match way back in 2004! That's some depressing reading right there! PREVIEW DUNDEE started off their campaign by gifting St Mirren al three points last Saturday. Last season’s attacking options reared their ugly head with it being a case of déjà vu for players, management and supporters. Then we had the minute of madness at the back that ultimately gifted the home side all three points. It would be very harsh however to start writing off players and team with some knee-jerk comments. Of course, the Dunfermline game gave us an indication that we were severely lacking in some areas but hopefully when we recruit players to fill these voids, then we will see a team that will hopefully improve on last terms league position. Roarie Deacon is back in training but he is still a few weeks away from being included in the matchday squad. ABERDEEN started off their Premiership campaign with a 1-1 draw against ten-man The Rangers last weekend. The Dons played for the best part of 80 minutes with a man advantage but despite this, they needed an injury time equaliser with their only shot on target. Derek McInnes team have on course been on European duty this summer when they came up against English side Burnley. They certainly didn’t let themselves down by more than matching their opponents from the self-proclaimed ‘Best league in the world.’ Unfortunately, despite a 1-1 draw at home, Burnley would proceed to the next round of the competition but they would need extra-time to get passed he har working Dons. Scott McKenna will miss out due to injury who will be out for around six to eight weeks and joins long term casualties Mark Reynolds and Tommie Hoban along with Shay Logan who is serving a suspension. HEAD TO HEAD RECORD Total P258 W53 D79 L126 F289 A433 Home P128 W32 D41 L55 F169 A227 Away P125 W20 D38 L67 F117 A197 Neutral P5 W1 D0 L4 F3 A9 STATS Top Goal scorer Alan Gilzean, 14 goals (9: League, 5: League Cup) Consecutive Games Scored Alan Gilzean: 10 goals, 5 games, August 201th 1960 to September 16th 1961 Biggest Win 6-0, Dens Park, November 18th 1905 and Dens Park, September 3rd 1960 (League Cup Group 4) Record Attendance and Lowest Home High: 41,000, 4-0, May 8th 1952, Scottish Cup Quarter Final Low: 5,369, 0-1, January 11th 1993 TICKET INFORMATION (Taken From Official Dundee Website) The ticket office is open from 10am on matchdays. Prices for the Aberdeen match are £26 (adults) and £19 concessions (Over 65 or Students with valid student photo ID), Under 18s are £12 Family Area Priced tickets available in the Bobby Cox Stand Rows A – Y, Seats 1 – 47 with prices as follows: Adult and one child under 12 £31 Two adults and two children under 12 £57 With additional children under 12 at £ 5 Under 12 tickets can only be bought as part of a family group Under 16 tickets can be bought without an adult ticket View full match preview
  8. The first programme we will look at is from our very first match in a European competition, which is also our largest ever victory in the competition and to this day, our opponents biggest defeat. I give to you, Dundee 8-1 FC Cologne. Being paired up with the early favourites of the European Cup, Dundee welcomed the West German Champions FC Cologne to Dens Park as we looked set to tussle with the crème de le crème of the top European teams. With ten West German internationalists in their team and labelled one of the early favourites to win the trophy, this looked like a daunting task for The Dee. When the full-time whistle went though, it was the Germans who were shell-shocked after the Dark Blues had blasted eight past them. We can maybe take into consideration that the German keeper was knocked out only a few minutes into this game and he only lasted until half-time when he failed to return to the field. Back in them days, there weren’t any substitutes so Cologne had to play the reminder of the game with only ten men. Our goals came from Alan Gilzean (who bagged a hat-trick), Bobby Wishart, Hugh Robertson, Gordon Smith and Andy Penman. Our first goal was scored by Matthias Hemmersbach who headed the ball into his own net. As you can see, DC Thomson published a souvenir programmes for this and all of Dundee’s other games in the European Cup and unsurprisingly, the first one featured the team with the Scottish League title. A photo that gives ever Dee a sense of pride. At only sixpence a programme, it's no doubt a steal on how much I had to pay for my own copy 50 odd year later!
  9. Dens Park or its name new name due to a sponsorship deal, The Kilmac Stadium at Dens Park has been the home to Dundee since 1899 following the clubs move from Carolina Port. The record attendance at Dens Park occurred in 1953 against Rangers when a massive 43,024 supporters fill the stadium. Th main stand was designed by Archibald Leitch and was opened in 1921. Apart from the South Enclosure and the Provost Road end having a roof put over it’s head, the ground had not seen much of an overhaul to it until 1999 when both stands behind the goal were demolished and new modern stands were built. The ‘Provie’ Road end was then renamed The Bobby Cox Stand and the TC Keay End, The Bob Shankly Stand. These stands were erected in just 82 days as the club battled to meet the Scottish Premier League’s new seat-capacity guidelines. The club were under pressure to meet the demands of the Premier League or face expulsion from the top-flight but in November 1998, the club were given the green light to procced with the construction early in the new year with the Scottish Sports Council Lottery Sports Fund and the Football Trust fronting half of the £2.6 million needed for the project. It had been announced in 2016 that our American owners had purchased land at Camperdown with intent to build a new stadium for the club. This was confirmed by them in early 2017 with the plans for the new layout being released to the public in September later that year.
  10. The sponsorship deal will bring in a six-figure sum for the club from Kilmac who are longstanding supporters of Dundee, having previously been sponsors of the club. Interestingly, Richard Kilcullen of Kilmac spoke of the importance that Dens Park should be in the stadiums name in ‘what will be the last years as the home of Dundee Football Club.’ A delighted John Nelms told the official Dundee website: “We are always looking for new unique revenue streams and this is a fantastic opportunity for the club and it makes it even better that it is with Richard and Kilmac who are and have been lifelong supporters of the club.” Richard Kilcullen of Kilmac was equally ecstatic about the deal. “It’s an honour to sponsor the stadium. We really feel it takes our already great relationship with the club to another level,” said Richard. “We realise the importance to the fans to keep Dens Park in the name in what will be the last few years as the home of Dundee Football Club.” Dens Park has been the home of Dundee since 1899 when they moved from Carolina Port. The club hope to move into a new stadium at Camperdown for the 2020/21 season.
  11. St Johnstone are all but safe and despite a not reaching the top six, they can play out the remainder of their matches without the stress of looking over their shoulder with the fear of being dragged into the bottom two. The teams only met just over a month ago when The Saints basically dismantled a lacklustre Dundee team 4-0, in what can only be described as a horror show for the Dens Park faithful but utter delight for the travelling away fans. This time around, we will hopefully see a more experienced Dundee team on the field as they prepare to drag themselves away from the bottom two places. We caught up with St Johnstone Fans in the lead up to Saturdays match about their recent soon-to-be departures from the club, their feeling on 'that' incident last time around and most importantly, who will leave the ground with the points. We have only recently locked horns at Dens. St Johnstone ran over an out of sorts Dundee team that day 4-0. What was your take on that match? What a brilliant day that was! That’s the sort of performance we know we can get from this group of players, we just haven’t seen it enough this season - hence our position in the league. Some of the Dundee defending that day might also be some of the worst I’ve seen in some time. As the game wore on, the gap between the midfield and defence was huge which allowed us to be a little more direct, which really worked in our favour. We can’t speak about that match without the incident at the end. My opinion is, emotions were riding high and it was basically handbags at dawn. How did you see it? Just handbags really. I can understand McCann’s frustration, however, no need for the slap but when red mist descends.... I thought the 2 match bans were harsh, although McCann’s has now been reduced. Despite sometimes it seemed that you might have been dragged into a wee scuffle near the bottom of the table, The Saints have knuckled down to get the points on board to ensure that never happened. You will now fight Motherwell for seventh place. With them reaching the Scottish Cup Final, can you see them having one eye on that and your team leapfrogging them? Think a lot of credit has to go to Tommy Wright once again for steering us clear of any relegation battle, which looked likely at one stage. Here’s hoping they take their eye off the ball a little bit, but I can’t see it happening. They went up to Pittodrie the week before the League Cup Final and ran out easy 2-0 winners so I can’t see it being any different this time. This week has seen Steven MacLean join Hearts on a pre-contract. Is this a blow to see him leave? Absolutely. First and foremost, he is a club legend and is absolutely adored by Saints fans. After all, he’s a Scottish Cup winner. He’s a player I feel has embodied everything we’ve been about the last few years. I think his experience will be a big loss - you can see the impact he had on Stevie May and Chris Kane. However, and I may be proved wrong in time but from what we’ve seen the majority of this season, he isn’t good enough anymore. Whether or not letting him go is the right decision...we’ll see. One thing that irked me about this transfer was that this was announced with him holding up a Hearts scarf. I always feel that this should be left until the players time at the club he is transferring from has come to an end. Do you hold the same feelings? In this instance, Steven MacLean can do what he wants. But generally, yeah. Shows a real lack of respect to current employers and photo shoots aren’t urgent and can wait until the player has moved on. Allan Mannus has also signalled that his time is up in Perth. Will it be tough for someone to fill his boots? Absolutely, I may be slightly biased, but I feel he’s been the most underrated keeper in the league in recent times. He's made some vital saves at vital times - one that sticks in my mind is against Motherwell in 2014. Think we’d won once in 6 and Motherwell were 1-0 at the time, he saves one-on-one, Michael O’Halloran goes up the other end and scores and we win 2-1. We then go on to win 5 of next 6, only dropping points at Dens! Hopefully Zander Clark can really kick on now, and maybe even see young Mark Hurst step up as a back up. What injury worries have St Johnstone got leading up to Saturdays match? From the top of my head, Chris Kane, Denny Johnstone, David McMillan and Callum Hendry are all missing - leaving Steven MacLean as our only fit senior striker. We’re also without Stefan Scougall and Blair Alston. Unsure on Brian Easton situation but imagine he’ll miss out too. Thankfully, we should see a different Dundee team. We will have McGowan and Kamara back so we will actually have a midfield! Will your fans travel from Perth expecting the same as last time? Who do you think will win? I certainly hope not! Dundee are a different team defensively with those two in midfield, so I imagine it’ll be a lot lot closer this time. If I had to pick one team, on recent form I’d choose Saints, but, that’s exactly when we’ll see a 5-0 Dundee win!
  12. Dundee are currently in the middle of an horrendous run of form at home which has seen five straight league defeats and the club teetering on the edge of the bottom two places in the table. Hearts away form isn't that much better either with only two wins on the road out of ten. Both teams are in need of a win. Hearts will be hoping to catch up on a resurgent Kilmarnock side in fifth place while Dundee are in dire need to ending their barren run of defeats at Dens and creating some breathing space between Partick Thistle and Ross County. In the lead up to Sundays game, we spoke to SPFL Blogger, Scotsman Sport online-writer and The Terrace Podcast editor-in-chief Craig Fowler to chat about his beloved Hearts. Hearts look destined for a third top six finish since promotion. This must have been the aim for the team at the start of the season but do you think that this term has been a disappointment for the club? Undoubtedly. It's hard to summarise expectations at the outset because of the whole Ian Cathro saga. As soon as Hearts lost to Peterhead in the Betfred Cup I think everyone knew it was going to be a tough season even if the club did the right thing, which they did, in binning the head coach. Probably the most disappointing aspect is that when Hearts finally did get on the right path - the clean sheet run, beating Hibs in the cup - it looked like the chance was really there to kick on and challenge Hibs for fourth place, but instead the two sides have gone in different directions, really. They've gotten better while Hearts have been weakened. Injuries have played a part but it goes back to the previous summer and how the squad was set up. There's a real imbalance and one or two key players being out causes the house of cards to come tumbling down. In the league you have also seen Hibs come out on top in the Edinburgh Derby with Hearts failing to find the net once. You did however get a win against them in the Scottish Cup which gave birth to Craig Leveins ‘Natural order’ comment. It must be tough to see a team you have normally dominated to have the upper hand? It's Hibs' best sequence of games against Hearts since the 1970s so there's absolutely no doubt this is tough to take. What's most troubling from a Hearts perspective is the general rejuvenation around Hibs. A couple of years ago Hearts were in the top flight averaging 16k a week while Hibs were in the second tier struggling to break 10k. Next season I wouldn't be too surprised if Hibs average a higher attendance than Hearts, which would be the first time that has happened for a long, long time. It's definitely the most positive I'm seen my Hibs supporting mates in years - probably a decade - while it's just a slog for Hearts fans right now. Steven Naismith was a massive coup for Hearts when you brought him in on-loan in January. Most clubs would love to have a forward line with a player of the calibre like him along with Kyle Lafferty. For any fans that have yet to see any Hearts matches, how has the signing worked out for the Jam Tarts? He's not quite lived up to the hype but I, for one, would still love to see him stick around for next season. He's lost a bit of the spark he once had - that little bit of explosiveness around the final third - but he's still technically and intelligently well ahead of most of his team-mates. He and Lafferty don't work particularly well in isolation because there's a lack of pace between the two, but they did link up well together in the recent win over Partick Thistle so there's perhaps more to come. Getting David Milinkovic fit again would be huge for the front three functioning well together. He's got that bit of pace and quickness that Hearts otherwise lack. I know you are in the process of watching every top flight match this season so you will have witnessed the good and bad that Dundee have produced. What’s your thoughts on our league position? Is it fully deserved or are you surprised? For a lot of the season I thought Dundee were in a false position and that it was only a matter of time before they figured things out and moved away from immediate danger of relegation. However, that was based on the assumption that they'd get a little bit more ruthless in the opposing penalty area and a bit more street-wise in their own. Seeing as that hasn't happened and we're now into the season's final quarter, I can't say I am surprised. You can knock the ball about with as much confidence as you like, but if you're poor in both boxes then there's only one thing that's going to happen. What players in our current team have impressed you and who should Hearts be weary of? Glen Kamara is probably the only Dundee player who has "impressed" me over the course of the season. If Neil McCann fancies another spectacular falling out with a first-team player, ala Scott Bain, I would love to see the defensive midfielder at Tynecastle. As for who Hearts should be wary of, Simon Murray didn't set the heather alight at Hibs and still managed to bag the winner in an Edinburgh derby. It would be typical of this season if he did likewise in a Dundee shirt. And vice-versa, what players should Dundee look out for in the Hearts team? Hard to say because it's always difficult to know who's going to play. Levein likes to chop and change his starting XI, often with little rhyme or reason. In attack, Lafferty is probably the only nailed-on starter if fit, so I'll have to plump for him. I'm not even a huge fan of the Northern Irishman, he's quite ungainly and a bit of a liability at times, and yet he's looking likely to be Hearts' first 20-goal season scorer since John Robertson. Football, eh? Dundee have went five home games without a win at home, only finding the net once and are in a battle to save their Premiership status. Can the Dark Blues end their run of bad form or will Hearts inflict more misery on the home support? While Dundee are on a terrible run at home, Hearts have been dreadful away from Tynecastle, where they are still undefeated. It's a problem that's been around for over a decade and means you can never be too confident going to watch the team away from home, even when they're good, which this team isn't. This one is a toss up.
  13. With one defeat in the last six for Motherwell and sitting nicely in the top 6, it was time to catch up with the guys at MFC Podcast to ask them a few questions. Since our last match, it’s been two wins, three draws and three defeats for Motherwell and you now sit in the top 6. Compared to your previous form before facing us last time around, you must be happy with the way the club have played, specially since coming back from the winter break? Very happy, the week in which we played Celtic three times on the bounce totally changed our season for the worst, the run following these games was awful, although there were a number of tough games among those. Since we’ve returned from the break we seem to have rediscovered the intensity and fighting spirit that we showed in the first four months of the season. For any Dundee fans that haven’t followed your transfers in the January window, can you talk us through the players that have been brought in? It was another pretty busy transfer window, the massive question was going to be how we replaced Louis Moult –an incredibly big job given his contribution to Motherwell in the last few years. Initially Curtis Main arrived on a free from Portsmouth, many fans had a look at his Wikipedia page and instantly wrote him off as a player who wouldn’t provide the goals, but his goal against St Johnstone brought him to four goals in five games for the club, he’s shown many attributes that have had the majority of us believing that he can go someway to filling the void left by Louis. Ciftci’s contribution has been mainly positive too, his touch is fantastic and he’s a very strong link-up player. I was really pleased to see him get off the mark against Thistle last week and hope he can adhere himself to Dundee fans even more this weekend by sticking a few in the net. We were also able to secure the signing of Peter Hartley on a permanent deal (you maybe saw the video?) and Stephen Hendrie has arrived on loan from Southend, I think it was a positive window for the club. In our last tie, I felt Dundee done enough for the win but it would end all square. What were your thoughts on our previous encounter? I would agree with you, I think we left that game very satisfied with a point, which is in part credit to Dundee for how they played and also a little down to how poor our display was. I was listening to your podcast today and quite enjoyed the discussion surrounding Colt teams entering Division 2. Could you give you thoughts to our readers about this? Prior to recording the podcast I was dead against the idea and I still am, but for different reasons now. These plans appear to have been rushed through to ensure Celtic and Rangers get their wishes. It is wrong on so many levels – I’d encourage anyone with an interest in the situation to check out our recent podcast (head about 30 minutes in if you’d prefer to avoid the MFC chat) and listen to the debate on the issue. You’ve come into this Cup tie on the back of a fine win over struggling St Johnstone whilst we got absolutely spanked at the weekend by bottom side Ross County. Will any of this matter with it being the cup or can you see a tightly thought contest? Also what's your prediction for this tie? I’ve not really considered Dundee’s result last week and don’t really think it’ll have any bearing on Saturday. Both encounters this season have been tight affairs and I don’t see this one being any different. The St Johnstone game showed when we get the ball down and try play football we can be very effective, I wouldn’t be surprised if we meet again in a replay at Fir Park, but hope we can sneak it – I’ll go for Dundee 1-2 Motherwell (Ciftci & Main)
  14. That meant it was time to catch up this pages favourite Ross County fan Jailender in an attempt to see how they have been performing since our last clash. First things first. How do you rate the cubs transfer activity in the January window? I think I counted no fewer than seven new arrivals? So far the jury is out on the transfer activity. Owen Coyle has added players to the areas of the field most fans feel need strengthening, however only time will tell if they’re a success. The main concern is that none of the players signed appear to be fit with several still recovering from injuries - Taney, Eagles and N’Gog - and it’s going to take time to get them up to speed - a luxury we don’t have. There is also the concern that the fit players we have signed are all unknown with Effiong coming from non league Woking and Melbourne and Käit coming from youth teams at West Brom and Fulham, and while a little more is known about Souttar he is still only 19 years old, so there isn’t a lot of experience being added. The other bizarre thing is we’ve only released 1 player - Kenny Van Der Weg, so we now have a large squad that needs to be kept happy Bottom of the league with no wins in 13. What’s happened with County? There is no denying we are where we deserve to be. The lack of goals being scored and the silly mistakes at the back is not a good combination. It was a problem we had under Jim McIntyre, but Owen Coyle hasn’t managed to solve the problem, in fact we’ve arguably got worse - especially in terms of scoring goals! You mentioned last time around about there being a lot more enthusiasm around the club. I’m guessing that that has been replaced with something else? When I last spoke Owen Coyle has not long arrived, there is no doubt he has a bubbly personality and there was a breath of fresh air around the club. However since then his enthusiasm has turned into predictable and repetitive sound bites in radio interviews. The run of bad results hasn’t helped the mood both with the players and the fans and at present we seem to be on a never ending downward spiral. The style of play has also become stale and boring - but then constant defeats does that. I think enthusiasm has been replaced with fear and dread with most fans going to matches recently through loyalty rather than looking for entertainment. I looked over some fans comments after the defeat to Aberdeen and they seemed to be directed at the managers substitutions, formations and players positions. Is this something that the fans have been speaking about for a while? The defeats to Rangers and Aberdeen are not the results that will get us relegated - it’s the losses to Partick, Hamilton, Motherwell and yourselves that will potentially costs us our league position. But the sad fact in these games was that we never really put up a challenge against them. It seems that Coyle isn’t aware of what his best team is. We get 3 or 4 changes to the starting line ups every week, then the substitutions appear to be trial and error - or at least that’s how it seems. Even with the new faces signed over the transfer window, only one started against Rangers, and while four started against Aberdeen, two were replaced at half time and we reverted back to original squad members that were deemed not good enough only a few weeks ago. We managed a rare victory last time up at your neck of the woods. What was your take on that match? The win wasn’t overly surprising given you had just beat Rangers the week before, and unbeknown to us we were just starting the current bad run. In all honesty Dundee fully deserved the win. Mark OHara ran the show and got a pretty good goal. With it being a home game for us, it was one I was looking to win, so was really disappointed to lose that game. Are you surprised at Dundee’s January dealings? It was a strange last day of the transfer window with the triangular dealings with Hibs and Celtic. It looks as though Dundee have been left weaker as Jack Henry and Scott Allen were two of your better players - however you do still have some good players and have added Simon Murray who has a good eye for goal. Finally, both teams need a win massively here. Dundee because the fans are needing to be showed that there is life after Jack Hendry and Scott Allan and County because they sit bottom and need to start clawing back the gap. Predictions? As you can tell, I’m not really confident about the game. The main hope we have is that all runs come to an end at some point, and with you losing Allan and Hendry, maybe we can cash in on that. A draw would be a step in the right direction but in reality we now need to beat teams in the bottom half of the league so a draw isn’t good enough. However I fear we may not get that and think Dundee will win 2-0
  15. The Premiership has been shut down the past three weeks due to the winter break so both clubs will be eager to kick start their campaigns with a victory under the Dens Park lights. That meant it was time to speak to the chaps over at Hibs Talk Podcast to ask them some questions about the recent happenings around their club. Hibs will go into their third match of the season against Dundee on the back of a Scottish Cup defeat in the Edinburgh Derby. For anyone who never seen the match, how did Hibs play and did they deserve to be beaten? For anyone who didn't see the game, they had a better Sunday afternoon than any Hibs fan or neutral. It was another poor Edinburgh Derby, with one goal just over the line, except this time it was given. Hibs didn't deserve a win, and if honest didn't a reply. Craig Levein ruffled some feathers with his ‘natural order’ comment. Considering it’s been a long time since they last defeated Hibs, what was your thoughts on his post-match interview? Also, his reaction to Martin Boyle during the game was a bit over the top wasn’t it? I think Craig Levein set put to achieve 3 things with that comment, wind up Lennon, wind up Hibs fans, and appease Hearts fans, and he was successful with all 3. All I'd say about the Boyle thing is that's twice this has happened at Tynecastle in the Hearts dug out... The last time both our clubs met, it ended in a fourth win in a row for yourselves. Since then there has only been two wins from nine and lost a bit of ground on Aberdeen and been leapfrogged from The Rangers. I remember the first time we spoke, you said you would be happy with fourth but it must be disappointing and frustrating to see a gap opening up? Recent form has been very poor, and the winter couldn't come quick enough. But that brought it's own documented issues. I think we would always be happy with 4th this season, but to be so far adrift of The Rangers and Aberdeen with Hearts breathing down our neck, this isn't what we expected, especially after the way we started the season The Winter break has come with some unwanted headlines with Anthony Stokes, Danny Swanson and Martin Boyle being punished for breaking a curfew at the training camp. Stokes looks set to leave along with Swanson now. What was your take on this incident and the potential loss of these two players? As mentioned these headlines haven't helped. My personal opinion, they stayed out past their bed time, so What, they're grown men, not children or soldiers. They're employees of a football club and Hibs and Lennon need to get a grip. But that's only me. I'd be gutted to see them go, Swanson has battled personal life issues and injuries the 1st half of the season, for his dream move to end like this would be devastating, as well as seeing our Scottish Cup hero threw out on his ear. Hoping not but doesn't look good What’s the gossip down around Leith about any potential transfer targets this window? Heard a few rumours, Ryan Williamson (Right Back at Dunfermline) Ikechi Anya of Derby, and weirdly Ryan McGowan formally of Hearts...which I don't think would go down well. You make your second trip up to the City of Discovery on Wednesday and will be hoping to make amends for the Derby defeat. How do you see this one panning out? Hard to call, will we respond and be out for blood after losing the Derby? Or will we be to wrapped up in not winning that we're not composed. I'm leaning towards the 1st and will go 3-1 Hibs win
  16. The Caley Jags have been a bogey team of ours since they left the Highland leagues to join the SFL. We have only beaten them five times in twenty-eight matches with two of them coming in the Scottish Cup Semi Final and the Challenge Cup Final. We spoke to Don Taylor from Caley Thistle Online to get the lowdown on our opponents who have recently found their feet in the Championship and find themselves fighting it out for a play-off spot for a quick return to the top league. The last time both of our teams met, Caley won 2-0 at Dens and gave the club hope that they could move off the bottom of the league and into the play-off spot. Unfortunately, it was not to be and Inverness suffered relegation to the Championship. I know it was last season but what went wrong? In two words, Richie Foran. We persevered with him for two long and his stubbornness to listen to advice. He was the cheap option and that backfired badly. One other thing that was instrumental in our demise was a horrendous injury list. Richie Foran lost his job and surprisingly, john Robertson was brought back for his second stint as manager with Inverness. After being out of management for four to five years, this must have come as a shock to the fans? A shock is an understatement. We are led to believe that Robbo never even applied for the job but was called to see if he was interested. I don't think it was a name any of the fans thought about given the length of time Robbo had been out of the limelight. He is, however, a likeable lad. You struggled in the first nine game of the new season but eventually found your feet when you came away with the three points at Tannadice against Dundee United. What took you so long to find your feet in this league? With relegation, the wage bill had to be trimmed. We kept the backbone of the relegated side, but they were low on confidence. Due to wage cuts and our top players leaving, we had to recruit from the bottom drawer. The new manager came in and only had a couple of weeks to sort out a starting XI. We brought in players that nobody had heard of, but with money tight it's all we could do. Think Billy Mckay, Ross Draper, Greg Tansey, Alex Fisher and a geezer called Josh Meekings all moving on. Higher earners Owain Fon Williams & David Raven were frozen out. In came guys like Zak Elbouzedi, Connor Bell, Matt Elsdon, Collin Seedorf and Felitciano Zschusschen. We called him big Susan, it was much easier. Anyway, we believe he is not around now. Falkirk have suffered this season from a similar problem and they are still struggling to get started. Since then, you moved out the bottom two and have been on a steady incline ever since. Now you find yourselves just three points off a play-off spot. After the start you had, is grabbing a play-off spot the goal for the team? I think it has to be the realistic target. It's not the easiest of divisions to get out of at the top end. The second prize is a play-off place and three other teams can achieve that. It's who can finish the season strongest that will have the best chance to progress. At the moment, we are doing our chances no harm, but that can change quickly. We can’t speak about your revival in the league without bringing up the new club record of seven consecutive clean sheets that the team managed to keep. A fantastic achievement! Absolutely. We began the season in disarray conceding comedy goals on a regular basis. Robbo identified the problem that we all knew and laid it on the line for the defence. Stop the errors and we can build on that. That has been done but it took a few combinations to find out that Coll Donaldson was the guy needed to knit the defence together. Clean sheets breed confidence and Mark Ridgers has benefitted from that more than most. His recent performances show that he now trusts the guys in front of him, and more importantly they trust him. The run of clean sheets whilst pleasing, is a bonus. Going back to John Robertson just now, what was your thoughts when he was first appointed to what you think now? Is he the right man to lead Caley back to the top league? I have to own up here, I am a Robbo fan and was more than happy to have him back unlike most of our fans. In fairness, it was easy to see why they were sceptical. Robbo had not managed for a number of years and many felt he might be out of touch with how the game has moved on since he last took Inverness into the SPL. I think it's fair to say that he has won most of the fans round with his effervescence and straight talking. Can he get us back up? After such a dismal start we are starting to believe. A play-off position is within our grasp, we will have to wait and see if that materialises. There has been plenty of changes in the squad this summer. Is there any new faces that Dundee should be weary of? Without giving anything away, a player we went down with has been given a new lease of life. Jake Mulraney has pace to burn and will be a handful for most defenders. Striking has been our achilles heel this season so far but we are beginning to reap the rewards now. George Oakley has taken over as the main striker just now and we have new signing Nathan Austin waiting to come through after a slight injury problem. We are confident that Coll Donaldson will break Dundee hearts this weekend and that will go down well with the Dark Blue fans. He has been absolutely immense for us recently. Another who is like a new signing is Aaron Doran. He was sidelined for the best part of two seasons but is now on the mend and getting back to his best. If Iain Vigurs can stay on the park, he has skill in abundance and will be influential in midfield. All in, Dundee should be wary of Inverness all over the park and this will be a good test to see where we stand right now. Also, if you had to tell your own team of one player from our team to keep an eye on, who would you pick? I don't know really, maybe Josh Meekings defending near the goal line might be worthy of scrutiny. El Bakhtaoui has his moments. Paul McGowan can be a tenacious midfielder and he can create for others. Not seen any of your new signings so I'll leave it at that. We have previously taken on each another in the Scottish Cup back in 2003 when Dundee won 1-0 to proceed to the final. What was your memories of that match? We had a tremendous side back then with great strikers like Dennis Wyness and Paul Ritchie with Barry Robson out wide. What we would give for that quality right now. We started the game better and Wyness smacked the bar with a ferocious shot from 30 yards. “Here we go” we all thought but it was not to be as Georgi Nemsadze scored a second half goal. Dundee eased into the game and their undoubted talent shone through in the end. Back then Dundee boasted an array of foreign stars. We had Bobby Mann, Roy Macbain, Ross Tokely, Stuart Golabek, Russel Duncan etc. Great occasion for Inverness at the time, something we went on to better in 2015. Finally, prediction time. How do you see this finishing? In previous years, we had a great record at Dens Park. Because of our total rebuild, it's more difficult to work out. Guys like Mark Ridgers, Coll Donaldson, Gary Warren and Brad Mckay will be vital to our survival at Dens Park. It could go tits up, but I will be looking for at least a replay and a win back up North. Mon the Caley Jags!
  17. Our next opponents Partick Thistle are sitting bottom of the league but will be buzzing after successfully taking all three points at home to Motherwell on Wednesday and know a win will see them leapfrog the Dee. To look ahead at our ‘Bottom of the Table’ clash, we again spoke to Alan Fraser from The JagsCast. Our last meeting ended in frustration for Dundee who should have easily won the tie but instead Thistle came from a goal behind to register their first win of the season. A great feeling after nine matches without a win? Yes, that last game against Dundee was smash and grab to be fair. Dundee had a load of chances and Tomas Cerny saved us more than once that day. First with the penalty save (in another season he would have been sent off for the challenge). His second half save from Moussa was brilliant although he shouldn't have had a chance with it. And yes it was a great feeling. Things then seemed to be picking up with a draw then win against Hamilton and St Johnstone but since then a bad run has seen the team hit bottom of the league and tonight another defeat. This must have been frustrating to witness? This season has been hugely frustrating. There have been some abject performances, some terrible defending with occasional flashes of good play. Our old campaigners like Chris Erskine and Stevie Lawless have underperformed and the new guys Miles Storey and Conor Sammon have shown no consistency. We can't keep using injuries as an excuse as the guys we have fit have to get on with it. The truth is though that Booth, Elliott, Bannigan and especially Osman are badly missed to give us pace on the flanks and power in the midfield. Last night you stormed back from a 5-1 drubbing at Killie to defeat Motherwell at home. At on point you were 3-0 to the good but ‘Well managed to claw two goals back. I don’t think anyone in Scotland were expecting a first half performance like that from Thistle! Last night in the first half hour Thistle blew Motherwell away in a manner not seen from us in the league this season. We know we are capable of playing like that though. We brushed aside St Mirren in the Right Said Fred Cup in a similar manner. Motherwell nearly clawed it back though. The last few minutes must have been treacherous? Motherwell changed things at half time and really gave us a game in the second half and we were holding on by the final whistle. So it’s the bottom two on Saturday. Whoever losses will be bottom come the final whistle. With the teams all around us still quite near each another, is It time for panic just yet? Especially with the January transfer window just around the corner? Not time for panic as there are plenty of points to be played for and other teams will pick up injuries and go on bad runs (I hope). I'm certainly an Alan Archibald fan if that is what the question is. Speaking of which, do you think Partick will be doing some business to freshen up the squad and if so, who would you like to see brought in or what position needs looked at? As to freshening up in January I'm sure the management team will be having a look at our long term injuries and assessing where we need strengthening and cover. They may have to do a bit of juggling with perhaps young James Penrice returning from his loan spell at Livingston for example. We could also do with a forty goals a season striker. Finally, Predictions? Another 4-1 in memory of the 71/72 Partick League Cup winners? Yes. Partick Thistle will beat Dundee 4-1 on Saturday.
  18. We very quickly caught up with Gavin who now lives in Australia to talk briefly about the events with his former club up North. (The questions were asked before today's announcement that Derek McInnes had decided to knock back The Rangers) The big talking point at this minute is the Derek McInnes situation regarding the vacant Rangers job. It’s been reported today (Wednesday) that McInnes and his assistant never took training and were meeting with Stewart Milne away from Pittodrie. Does this look more than likely that Aberdeen will need to start looking for a new manager very soon? Yes it certainly does. Once it gets to this stage - it only looks like there will be only one outcome. Aberdeen have hit a rough patch recently with one win in five. It’s quiet out of character for the Dons. Players might say otherwise but do you think the ongoing speculation regarding the manager has had an effect on the club? I don’t think the players would admit it and I have been in the same situation also but sub consciously I think it must play a part - hard to tell really. With you now living in Australia now, you might not have seen Aberdeen as much but how do you feel new signings Gary Mackay Stevens and Greg Stewart have done considering they have had to fill the gap Johnny Hayes and Niall McGinn left? Their stats seem to be underwhelming when compared to the players above and also their stints at both Dundee clubs. Johnny and Niall were such pivotal players for Aberdeen for a good few years that it’s hard to come in and replace that straight away. I’m sure Greg(who proved himself at Dundee) and Gary (who is a great player) will do so. The past few seasons have seen second place more of less Aberdeen’s for the taking but this year they have Rangers and Hibs pushing them now. After two defeats against the Glasgow club it would seem they have some serious competition? Yes of course. And it’s always gonna happen. Rangers are getting stronger as they were always going to. Hibs are going well also. The Dons have put their plans on hold regarding the new proposed stadium but Mine is hoping that their application can be heard by the Council this month. How much does the club need to move to a new stadium? I really hope they manage to push through the new training ground and stadium because for the progression of the club it is crucial. It’s such a good club that is being held back by lack of facilities. Again, with you residing in down under, you may have not seen much of Dundee but from what you have hear or read, what players do you think will cause the most problems for Aberdeen Well Mark O’Hara is doing great and is scoring goals. Along with El Bakhtaoui's pace and finishing ability - they are the two on form that will cause problems. It’s been sixteen games since we last beat Aberdeen in the League, going all the way back to 2004. With Aberdeen stutter in the league just now, can Dundee finally grab all three points or will the Dons make it eight wins on the trot against us? It’ll be a big ask, but it’ll be a close game either way.
  19. As we all know, Dundee are sitting bottom of the league and in need of a much needed victory while Kilmarnock's fortunes have took a turn for the better since the arrival of Steve Clarke. We caught up with Russell Abercrombie from the One Team In Ayrshire podcast again to hear his views before the teams square off. A lot has changed since we last spoke before our 1-1 draw at Rugby Park. Lee McCulloch is gone and a surprise appointment of Steve Clarke was made. Did this take the Killie fans by surprise? Yes and no. It was certainly a surprise when you look at Clarke's standing in the game, especially down south. However, he does have a connection to the club with his older brother Paul having played over 350 times for us and having grown up less than 15 miles down the road in Saltoats. When McCulloch departed, he was what you'd have described as the dream, but unrealistic, appointment. I and many others are pleasently surprised to be proved wrong. Two wins, two draws with the old firm and only one defeat since Clarke arrived has been a very impressive start to his career with Killie. What has he changed that wasn’t there before? In one word - organisation. Under Lee McCulloch the players were there but they often looked as if they lacked a cohesive gameplan, Clarke has changed that and the players look well drilled. Paul McDonald, Academy Coach and the man who took charge of Killie for the trip to Firhill, brought back in Alan Power to the midfield which solidified the central area, and Clarke has mainly stuck with the set-up that day. Greg Taylor has been moved into midfield from left-back and he's given us legs in the middle that was lacking from guys like Stevie Smith. Since Clarke has been in charge, I’ve heard a lot of positives about the set up and performances. Obviously taking away the two wins, did the team deserve more from the two draws and one defeat? Our one defeat so far, at home to Hibs, was as frustrating a football match as you're likely to see. Killie hit the woodwork three times and had numerous attempts cleared off the line. The fact that the Kilmarnock support, notoriously fickle, applauded the team off at the end spoke volumes. As for the two draws away in Glasgow, we definitely did enough to take all 3 points at Ibrox; however it would have to be a gargantuan performance to win at Celtic Park, but we just about did enough to earn the point. The draw with The Rangers must had been something else? Seeing your keeper save the penalty only to go right up to equalise in injury time. That’s what football is all about! A tremendous moment. The scenes in the away end were unforgettable. Getting a point in Glasgow is never a bad result, but the circumstances you described made it even sweeter. Especially considering we played the ball out from the back and didn't resort to pumping it long as teams would be forgiven for trying. Going back to the first game between us two this season. Did you see the scoreline as a fair reflection of the game? I'd say so, yes. Gordon Greer's mistake early on was one of the only errors he's made since joining but he atoned for that with the equaliser later on. We were however a much different side back then, and I'm far more confident going into the up-coming clash than I was back in September. Kilmarnock has only lost once in their last five visits to Dens with the last three ending 1-1. Will we see a repeat of that scoreline? Or will the Dee eventually or Killie to continue their good form? Given the positivity I've displayed so far, it would be typical of Kilmarnock to mess that up and lose comfortably this Saturday. However, this team seems different and there's a sense of hope and optimism around the club that's been missing for many a year. Dens is a great away day, even if we are stuck in the league's worst stand, so I'm hoping to see us at the very least keep up our good form against the City of Discovery's only top-flight team. Killie to sneak it 2-1.
  20. We spoke to the guys over at The Motherwell Football Club Podcast who were suffering slightly from a hangover after their Hampden heroics. Gives us a little background about yourself. What made you become a Motherwell fan? Something I've asked myself countless times! My parents weren't football fans, I grew up two minutes walk from Fir Park - no brainer! How was the podcast born and how long have you been producing it for? We began the podcast after Stuart McCall left in 2014, our group of mates all had differing opinions on it and we decided to record a chat on the subject. It's really grown since then, with a lot of players from the past and present as well as club staff joining us. We've also done various charity projects and are currently producing our third book - I love being involved with it all. It’s been a busy summer transfer window for Motherwell. After last season, did the club need clear out? Absolutely, last season was a disaster. There's a huge amount of risk attached to that scale of upheaval, but Stephen Robinson has made some excellent signings. This season has seen the club start this league campaign in great form. Has this taken the fans by surprise considering the turnover of new players? I think it has. We've been helped with a large majority of home games in the early stages, but saying that we were awful at home last season, there's just a real belief in this team just now. You have also done not too bad in the League Cup. On Sunday you beat Rangers at Hampden to set up a final with Celtic next month. With the run Celtic are on at the moment, is the belief there that your team can lift the cup? Why not? There's no illusions that Celtic are well ahead of the rest, but this is a one off game, if we go with the same attitude we went into the Rangers game with then we'll have a fighting chance. What’s the deal with Louis Moult? Do you think he will sign a new deal with the club or is it a case of enjoying him in a Motherwell top while you can? I love Louis Moult, probably more than my missus but don't tell her that! There's an offer on the table, Motherwell have been pretty upfront that they've offered the best that they can to extend his deal, will he stay? I doubt it, but it would be amazing if he committed to a new deal, he's idolised by our support. Excluding Moult who would no doubt be the easy pick, what other player has impressed you so far this season and who should Dundee look out for on Wednesday at Dens? Cedric Kipre came in as a trialist, we tried to sign one of the other three and didn't get them, Kipre comes in and he's been absolutely superb - our best deal of the window. If you could pick one Dundee player to have in your team, who would it be and why? Sitting here hungover after pumping Rangers 2-0 at Hampden, nobody! What targets should the club be aiming for in the league? You’ve already reached one national final, would another one be pushing it too far? Don't really want to get too ahead of ourselves, we've had an amazing start and there's a real buzz about Fir Park, I guess we resort to the 'one game at a time' cliché. Finally, what’s your score prediction for Wednesday? After building us up, I reckon it'll be a really tough game, we'll win though - 2-0.
  21. We caught up with the chaps over at Heart Till We Die to find out their views on an early managerial change, how it felt seeing the old main stand being knocked down and their thoughts on this Saturdays clash. So, with two teams to choose from in Edinburgh, what made you support Hearts? Well, my family supports them so I was always going to be a Jambo Hearts Till I Die has a tremendous following with over 38,000 likes. What made you start up the Facebook page? I always liked the idea of creating a page on something you like, so I thought I'd make one for the team I support. Originally, the page was named 'I Was Alive When Hearts Won 10-0' (after the 10-0 thumping of Cowdenbeath) but I decided to change it about a year later because I thought it needed a freshen up. The old main stand took its last breath at the end of the season and is now in the process of being replaced with a new, younger model. How did it feel to see that part of the ground torn down and how is the redevelopment progressing? It's a shame to see it go after all the memories it holds but it's not such a bad thing as we're getting a bigger and better stand which will hopefully provide new memories! The development side is getting there but I was gutted when I heard it wasn't going to be ready in time for September. I suppose it just makes the anticipation even better for November! Ian Cathro in the managers chair never worked out for you and he was relieved of his duties after only seven months, on the eve of the first League game. Did you want to see him go or did you feel he needed a few more months in the job before any action should have been taken? I always backed him last season and was happy to see him have another fresh season. New signings looked great, we just needed to see that passion on the pitch which we missed last season. But unfortunately it started badly for him by getting knocked out of the league cup against a group of teams who we should be beating (no disrespect). After that, I just wanted to see someone new come in before it could get any worse. Jon Daly took up the reigns while a manager was sought out. It turned out to be someone that was already at the club, Craig Levein that would walk into the dugout. Having been away from management since 2012, are you happy with his appointment? Me personally, I was satisfied with the appointment. I wasn't over the moon of course, as I was expecting one of the better names. But at the end of the day, we were getting a manager who'll have plenty of discipline and has a huge knowledge of the club. He also had a successful spell before with us. I know the Aberdeen game was technically a home tie but it was at Murrayfield so it still must have felt like an away match. When you play us, it will be your EIGHTH game in a row away from Tynescastle. It must be costing an arm and a leg to follow the club right now? Of course, but that's how you have to deal with it. Soon, we'll have a period of eight home games in a row (one against you) which will hopefully bring many points. We’ve asked everyone first time around how they have felt about their team’s summer transfers. Have you been impressed with Hearts and what players, if any, have you been disappointed to see leave? I've been impressed with our signings. Lafferty and Berra were brilliant coups with Berra knowing the club very well and is a natural leader. Callachan, a Jambo himself, is looking a worth while signing. Overall, I've been happy with our signings. I was disappointed to see Callum Paterson leave because he's such an influential player. A unique goal scoring right back is always going to be a loss but I hope he does well down at Cardiff. Pick a player from each team that will cause the other problems. Jamie Walker - he's looked more himself these last few games and I think he'll cause some damage to your defence. A-Jay Leitch-Smith - he scored a couple against St Johnstone a couple weeks ago and could well do the same to us. Where do you want to see Hearts finish this year and how do you see them doing in the Scottish Cup? I hope to see us finish in the top 4 and hopefully a European place to go with that. I would really like to see us have a good run in the Scottish Cup as we've not had one since the humiliation of Hibs. Finally, how do you see Saturdays clash panning out? A repeat of the last game we had at Dens would be fantastic but highly unlikely I guess and maybe not what you would have in mind? I reckon we'll be right up for it after drawing to Partick last week and with Lafferty back, I think we'll just edge it and get the win. Good Luck on Saturday!
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