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Paul Hartley’S Praise For Superb Dundee Stopper


JoeCovenant

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Source: The Evening Telegraph

Disappointed Dundee manager Paul Hartley has praised his golkeeper for keeping the score in Saturday’s Scottish Cup defeat against Celtic respectable.

The Dark Blues went down 2-0 in a one-sided lunchtime fixture at Dens Park. But Paul admitted but for the heroics of Scott Bain the winning margin would have been much greater. The 23-year-old made a string of superb saves as his team were put to the sword by the treble-chasing Hoops. And his display was the one consolation for the manager on a day when he was almost at a loss to explain his players’ below-par performance.

“He’s been like that in all the games he’s played. He’s a top young goalkeeper and he definitely kept the scoreline down,†said Paul. “Some of his saves were world class but I thought, while Bain played well, we had too many players who had an off-day. Going in at half-time 1-0 we were fortunate and to lose a goal straight after the whistle killed us

“We’d spoken about trying to stay in the game for at least 20 minutes and then having a right go but we didn’t perform. I thought it was a poor performance from the team. We were second best and we’re not going to dress it up. We just didn’t play well. We did say if you are going to go out of the Scottish Cup at least go out with a bit of fight and spirit and by having a go.

“We spoke about it all week and worked on it. In terms of the games we’ve played against Celtic we’ve been good but not this time.â€

Saturday was the first time since the single-goal League Cup derby defeat at Tannadice in September that Dundee have failed to score. And the gaffer was frustrated at the lack of opportunities created.

“We just didn’t look like we were going to score. We didn’t threaten the goalkeeper. We had one shot which isn’t enough and maybe we had a couple of set-pieces. We’ve scored in the last 23 games but not this time — it just wasn’t our day.â€

Celtic manager Ronny Deila is now turning his sights on Inter Milan in the Europa League last-32 tie at Celtic Park on Thursday week. “I’m really looking forward to this match,†he said. “I’m much more confident now in that we’re together and know how we want to play the game.â€

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