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News: Mcalister Keen To Avoid Relegation Fight


TheDarkBlues

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Dundee midfielder Jim McAlister says the haunting experience of top flight relegation will act as a spur as they try to turn their current fortunes around.

The Dark Blues could be forgiven for looking over their shoulders in the Premiership standings, as they are now without a win in seven league games and in danger of being sucked into the danger zone at the foot of the table.

That sinking feeling was perhaps worsened on New Year’s Day as they collapsed to a 6-2 loss at the home of their city rivals United, but McAlister says the players are determined to put things right – starting with tomorrow’s huge home game against struggling Ross County.

“We need to get back to basics and we need to get being hard to beat,” he stressed.

“That’s the way we were at the start of the season.

“We were working as a unit from the front right through the team to the back and that’s maybe not been the case over the last month.

“We know what this period of the season is like and it’s a hectic time.

“We’ve now got two massive games coming up, against Ross County and Motherwell, so we need to see a reaction.

“You are never safe until you have got the correct amount of points.

“There are a handful of us who were here two years ago who know the feeling, and there are handful of boys who were at Hibs who know the feeling, so we don’t want that feeling again.

“It’s horrible, but we’ve got a good dressing room and a good bunch of boys who are all working together and striving to go in the right direction.

“Obviously every team throughout the season will have a wee dip in their form, but it’s about how you react to it.

“I think it’s now massively important that we react in the game on Sunday.”

McAlister fully appreciates that the Dark Blues supporters would have been hurting after Thursday’s rout at Tannadice, but the team were back in at Dens Park yesterday to pinpoint where things went wrong.

He continued: “Obviously we got off to a horrendous start.

“The form we’ve been in, before we went out there we wanted to get into the game in the first 10 minutes and build from there.

“Obviously we go 1-0 down so early, but I thought we got a good reaction after it and then after we scored you want to see out the next 10 minutes and put them on the back foot.

“But the goals we lost were terrible, terrible goals.

“We tried to keep going but at this level you can’t give away the goals that we gave away.

“Earlier in the season if we weren’t playing well we were seeing out the games and maybe picking up a point.

“We were taking pride in keeping clean sheets but I think that’s nine goals in the last two games we’ve conceded now and that can become a problem.”

With first choice goalkeeper Kyle Letheren likely to be out with a thigh problem, Hartley will decide whether or not to give second choice Scott Bain a pain-killing injection on his injured shoulder which will allow him to play or pitch Arvid Schenk back in despite his horror show on Thursday.

Bain is likely to be given the nod ahead of Schenk after the German shipped six, although McAlister is confident the keeper can handle the occasion if he is called upon.

“I don’t know how many games the big man has played, but he won’t have played any with the majority of the first team boys,” he concluded.

“But it is hard for him.

“It was an opportunity for him, if you look at it that way, to put your stamp on the team, but to be honest I don’t think he could have done a hell of a lot with the goals.

“Some of them were decent finishes and you can’t be too harsh on him.

“He seems quite cool and calm, and that’s the way he’s been since he came in.

“Obviously it was a blow for Kyle because he found himself back in the team through Bainy being injured, but it’s a hard one take.”

Source: The Courier

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