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Gary Harkins Denies Dressing Room Bust-Up


JoeCovenant

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Will this put the 'rumour' to bed, d'you think??

Source: The Courier

Gary Harkins has shot down suggestions that he had been left out of Dundee’s starting line-up because of a Dundee derby dressing-room bust-up.

Ever since Harkins failed to reappear for the second half of the January 1 match against Dundee United at Tannadice rumours have been doing the rounds that he had a fall-out with either manager Paul Hartley, goalkeeper Avrid Schenk or both. The midfielder was back in his usual role from the start against Kilmarnock in midweek as the Dark Blues beat Kilmarnock thanks to a Greg Stewart penalty.

He was obviously delighted to be handed the jersey again, despite being surprisingly substituted with almost half-an-hour to go at Dens on Wednesday night. With manager Paul Hartley praising the Dundee players for the way they have battled back since that 6-2 loss to the Tangerines - they have recorded two wins and two draws - Harkins also looked back at that game and put the speculation over what happened behind closed doors to rest.

“That’s a load of rubbish and there was nothing said at all,†insisted Harkins. “I have heard the rumours but they are a load of rubbish. I got a text from (former Dundee goalkeeper) Rab Douglas asking me about it and I just started laughing because there was nothing in it. I don’t know where I’ve got this reputation from that I’d start throwing jabs!â€

Harkins agreed with Hartley that soul-searching after the derby has resulted in an upturn in form that has seen them move into seventh spot in the Premiership, jumping ahead of Killie.

“That was a tough one to take,†he added. “A lot of the boys took that defeat hard and we knew that we had to have a look at ourselves and try to get back on track. We knew that we couldn’t accept that and that it wasn’t good enough from us. We have turned it around, kept going and have had some positive results since.

“The lads are playing confidently and scoring goals and we are all looking forward to the next game at St Mirren.â€

His body language suggested Harkins really wanted to stay on and finish the Killie game.

Now, though, he is raring to go again if handed a start against Saints in Paisley this afternoon.

“Nobody likes to be taken off and I always like to play every minute,†said Harkins. “But I also have to respect the manager’s decision and we did end up getting the three points so I am happy with that. I felt I was getting a wee bit of joy against Killie but I had played 90 minutes on Saturday at Aberdeen after not starting for a couple of weeks before that.

“Hopefully, I will be playing again against St Mirren but we will just have to wait and see. If I am playing consistently then I will do my bit. I am enjoying myself and it’s been good. As a player you want the matches to be coming every couple of days or so. I would happily play Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday. So it is good from my point of view that we don’t have long to wait.â€

Harkins came within a whisker of grabbing a goal against Killie, with his shot smashing off the bar, coming back down, hitting keeper Craig Samson and then bouncing out for a corner.

He said: “I hit it well and on another night it would have gone in.â€

The former St Mirren man will be looking for better personal luck against his old team today but he is aware of how well today’s opponents have been playing, having beaten Ross County and drawn with United in their last two games.

“St Mirren are going well and I know them a bit from my time there,†he said. "They have some really, really good players like John McGinn and Kenny McLean so it will be a tough one. They didn’t start the season great but they are showing a bit of form now.

“So it’s a game that we will go into with a bit of caution as we know we will have to be at our best to beat them.â€

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