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Dundee New Boy Has Visitors Celtic Firmly In His Sights


JoeCovenant

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Source: The Evening Telegraph

Being wanted was a key reason why Stephen McGinn decided to join his brother Paul at Dundee. And as he looks forward to renewing his love affair with knockout competitions by, hopefully, helping the Dark Blues stun Celtic in the Scottish Cup today, he admits just a week into his Dens Park career he knows he made the right decision.

McGinn signed on loan from Sheffield United a week ago and, earlier this week, that became a permanent move when he penned a contract until the end of this campaign. Things may have moved on rapidly since he drove north but he’s revealed that initial trip was a few weeks in the planning.

“It’s been a hectic start for me coming in the Friday night and being involved straight away last Saturday,†he said. “I’d not been playing down at Sheffield United and, right at the start of the transfer window, the manager here phoned me up and asked if I would be interested in coming. Right away, he seemed really keen for me to come up and get games back in Scotland. He mentioned this cup game against Celtic was coming up.

“I had a few options in England but the manager was constantly on at me and the fact he wanted me so much made my mind up. That was massive for me, especially with the situation I was in where the manager I had (Nigel Clough) didn’t want me. When you have a manager on the end of a phone telling you how much he wants you and you could improve his team, it sways your decision.â€

Getting the chance to be a team-mate of at least one of his footballing brothers — Paul is at Dens and John is making a big name for himself with St Mirren — was another major factor. With Paul recovering from a back problem, today could see him line up alongside a sibling for the first time.

“Paul and John played together at St Mirren but this is the first time I’ve been in a squad with one of them. That was one of the things for me. I might not have many chances to play in the same team as him and right back to boys’ club level I’ve never played in the same team as either of them.

“Because the manager spoke to me so early in the window, I had said to Paul joining him here was a possibility and I must have asked him about a thousand questions.â€

After coming on for Kevin Thomson for the second half of last week’s draw with Hamilton, McGinn looks set to be in the starting XI that lines up against the Hoops. He could hardly ask for tougher opposition for his first start but is relishing the challenge.

“It’s a big one for us and in the Scottish Cup you are going to have to take out Celtic at some point if you want to win it. We’ve got a great opportunity to beat them. We’re on our home patch and, looking at everything we’ve got, we have a chance.

“Having a run in the cup would be great. The furthest I’ve gone in it was to play in the semi-final at Hampden and I remember that fondly. Although Rangers beat us on the day, I took a lot of experience out of that game and we played some tough ties to get there. To get to Hampden again with Dundee would be an amazing achievement.

“In England last season, Sheffield United got to Wembley and we played in some amazing stadiums during that run. We played Aston Villa and Fulham away and had to go and beat them, so that was a great experience. Hopefully, I can use that to help us win.â€

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