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Paul Mcginn: Dundee Must Keep Clean Sheet To Stand Chance Against Dons


JoeCovenant

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Source: The Evening Telegraph

Much has been made of Aberdeen’s clean sheet record ahead of today’s clash with Dundee.

But Paul McGinn admits he can only look on in envy at the Dons’ eight-game stretch without giving away a Premiership goal. The Dark Blues defender would give anything for his side to keep things airtight at the back, having not done so since October.

“We need a clean sheet,†said the right-back. “When you look back at how well we defended at the start of the season, it was all very different. We were struggling to score goals but not conceding. Now we are looking for the front boys to help us out by scoring. That all needs to change. We need to get back to the way we were.â€

McGinn, who has missed just one game due to suspension this season, is a rarity in the Dark Blues’ back four, especially at the moment. Injuries have cost them dear in the defensive areas and that’s one of the main reasons why Dundee have struggled to keep it tight, according to McGinn.

He said: “You defend as a team and, when you do not have the same players in the starting XI week in week out, it can be tough. We have struggled to get the same team out at times this season, never mind the same back four. That definitely disrupts you.

“It obviously doesn’t help when you give away so many daft goals — we are trying to remedy that. But when the team is not settled, it can affect players no matter what anyone says.â€

Injury and loss of form has seen the previously-reliable partnership of James McPake and Thomas Konrad fizzle out. Kostadin Gadzhalov and Iain Davidson look set to continue at the heart of defence at Pittodrie tomorrow following a solid enough showing against Motherwell last week.

McGinn added: “At the moment, I have no idea who is going to play alongside me. It wasn’t that way at the start of the season when we had a settled back-line. Injuries have really affected us. Maybe we haven’t dealt with it too well.â€

McGinn himself has been shifted around manager Paul Hartley’s starting XI. At Partick pre-Christmas, he was played on the right of midfield. But the former Dumbarton man reckons, unless he wakes up one morning and has transformed into Arsenal and England man Theo Walcott, he doesn’t have a future in that roll.

“It was a very unfamiliar position,†he said. “It was nowhere I had ever played before. We were conceding too many goals and I was put there to protect. I don’t think I caused them too many problems. Unless I turn into Theo Walcott overnight, I don’t think I have much of a future there.â€

McGinn may be playing down his forward intentions but he’s been impressed by those of fellow full-back Gary Irvine. The Dark Blues stalwart has netted twice in recent weeks.

The 24-year-old joked: “Gary is banging them in. I was ahead of him with one this season but he has taken over. It’s only because he goes forward for corners, though.â€

Football at the best of times is an unpredictable business. And McGinn is in disbelief that Dundee could have a hand in the Premiership title race tomorrow.

“It’s strange really,†he said. When you look at the start they made it’s very surprising. But they have crept up and we know when we have played them they are a top-class side.

“Going forward, they are very good and their clean sheet record is brilliant.â€

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