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  1. UWTB1893

    Ex Dee Interview: Peter MacDonald

    In total, Peaso turned out 48 times for the club, scoring 21 times. You signed from Dundee when John Brown was the manager but he also coached you at Rangers. Did it take much persuading from him for you to join him at Dens Park? No, it was a no brainier to join as Dundee are a massive club and I thought we would go onto win the league as I knew a few of the players bomber was keen to get. You were linked with Dundee a good few times down the years before joining. Was there ever anything behind these stories or was it just paper talk? It was more just paper talk unfortunately as I had years on my contract to run at saints. Expectations were high that year with the new American owners backing the club financially but the first set of results were mixed, including being taken to Extra Time in the League Cup and Challenge Cup twice to lower league opposition. Was there any early pressure on the squad? I think there is always pressure when you are the favourites, but the first few games we won Out with the QOTS game. At one stage we were 8 points behind top of the table Hamilton but 7 wins out of 9, including a 3-0 victory at New Douglas Park against the Accies, saw us top the table for the first time that season in December. Was it a massive relief for the team that they managed to shorten the gap and then overtake them? We knew we had to just keep on winning but the Hamilton game was massive and I would hate to think what could have happened if we had lost that game, but we never and jumped them 3-0!! The next set of result changed the course of Dundee’s season. Three defeats in the next seven games heaped pressure on Brown and then a last minute goal from Alloa at Dens cost the club two points him leave the club. Was this a shock to the players? It was a shock as when bomber lost his job we were 30 seconds from being 4 points clear so I found it harsh that he left. Paul Hartley was the man who would replace Brown in the hot seat at Dens. What was it like with the new gaffer coming in? It was different as to start with. All we did was run as he had been told that we were an unfit team which was nonsense and he realised that after 3 weeks. His first game in charge was a home tie against our challenges Hamilton and it ended in a 1-0 win for Dundee and we back on top. How vital was this result for not only for Hartley but also the players after such a turbulent week? It was another massive result and it was a great performance although we only won by a goal, it’s always great for a manger to get off to a winning start. We then stayed at the top of the league until the end of March when both clubs bounced between first and second place. Was this just the sign of nerves kicking in for both sets of players do you think? I think it was more both teams struggling for a massive run of consistency and I suppose nerves could have played a part. I touched on this stage of the season when I interviewed Gavin Rae but the defeat to Morton with three games to goal was hard to take and a good few people were already starting to accept that we were destined for the play offs. What was your thoughts after this game? I was gutted after that game as I had missed a few chances which would have won it for us. The Alloa game the week after was a real game changer. We cruised to a 3-0 victory but during the game, Dumbarton were taking care of business at their end and mauling the Accies 4-1. Were you aware during the game of the events that were unfolding? We could only go out and do what we had to do and hope for Dumbarton to do the business against Hamilton, we knew the score from the cheers and also I asked a few fans from a corner! The build up to the final game was massive and excitement was flowing through the city. What was it like that week in training with such an important game approaching? You have to prepare as normal which we did as there’s no point in changing things. I was feeling the nerves days before the game but on the actual day, they were shot! I managed to cope by having a few drinks beforehand but how did you manage to deal with yours? I couldn’t wait for the game to come as I wanted to win the title so much and no one was going stop me so I wasn’t nervous at all just buzzing to play. The stadium was full with Dundee fans and the atmosphere electric. For the first time in a long time, the old lady was rocking! Can you tell us what the dressing room was like before kick off? It was normal but all the lads were buzzing to get out on the park and to get going, I think the game was always going to take care of itself. You got the goal that put us 2-0 up and at that point the fans thought that the title was in the bag. Dumbarton then pulled a goal back and then the news started to filter through that Hamilton were knocking them past Morton and reducing the goal difference. The fans then started to worry. Rae mentioned he never knew the score until Hartley told him at the end. Was this the same for you? I honestly can’t remember what happened, I don’t think I knew till I got taken off with 8 minutes to go. I’m not being biased when I say that Kyle Letheren pulled off the best ever save in football history right at the death. What was your reaction to it? It was unreal but I didn’t realise how good a save it was till I had seen it a few days later We would win the game though and be crowned the Championship winners. The crowd ascended onto the pitch and the frustration of playing 8 seasons out of 9 in the second tier was lifted from the fans. Seeing 4 full stands of jubilant Dundee fans charging at you must have been some feeling? I ran over to my mum and son as I wanted to see her first and give my son a kiss but I did get mobbed after that! I don’t believe one fan went home early that night. How did the players celebrate afterwards? I don’t think they should have went home early that night. Well-earned beers! Your 18 goals that season were viewed by many a fan as the main reason we went up. Of course the whole team played a vital part but it must be satisfying to have contributed the most important thing in football games, goals? Yeah it was very satisfying averting all the goals and playing well through the season as I had a point to prove as some people thought I was too old and saying what was bomber doing signing me but I hope I proved them wrong. The next season you featured 9 times and scored 3 goals but injury was to set you back a lot. How frustrating was it to miss out on playing especially since you worked so hard to make it to the Premiership? In the Celtic game I tore my cruciate and I knew that was at least 5 months out for me so I was gutted as I was starting to play well again and had earned my place in the team. You then left Dundee to re-join Morton at the turn of the year. Dundee fans were sad to see you leave as many believed you could still offer so much to the team. Was the lure of playing every week and also the chance to be a first team coach too good to turn down? I didn’t want to leave but Hartley told me I wouldn’t play in his team and that I should go so I felt I had no option, I was gutted to leave as I too felt I could get the goals which were not coming at the time. You then went on to win the league with Morton. You must have been sick of all these title celebrations by then? Hahahah you can’t get enough of winning! Going back to your early days at Dens, the fans instantly accepted you and even now you are still a fans favourite. How would you rate your time at Dundee? It was the best year of my life and that’s not a lie. My son was born, I was playing well and scoring and I went on to win a league title with a great club with amazing fans. I only wish I had joined sooner. Out of your 21 goals, which was one was the most memorable for you and which one was the most spectacular? I remember you blasting home 2 free kicks in back to back games in the cups which were unstoppable. My most spectacular were the 2 free kicks vs Forfar and my most memorable was the goal that won the league, I will never forget that moment as long as I live. There was some characters in the dressing room that year. Was there any notable players who loved a wind up and what was the best one you saw? We had a team full of crackpots so to many to mention haha Who was the most talented player you played with at Dens? Who thought they were the most talented player? I think we had a few like Conroy’s wand of a left foot and Davo’s power in the air so we never had a team of flair but more a team that knew how to win. What’s your aims for the future? Football has been your whole life and with the coaching you are doing, is the next step management? Yeah I want to go into management after I stop playing it’s the only thing I want to do. * INTERVIEW FIRST POSTED 2nd DECEMBER 2015
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