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Paul Hartley Challenges His Dundee Side To Keep Top Six Place


JoeCovenant

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Source: The Evening Telegraph

Dundee boss Paul Hartley has challenged his players to keep their top-six place after securing a “massive†win over Partick at Dens.

Midfielder Paul McGowan grabbed the Dens Park men’s stoppage-time winner to give the Dark Blues all three points in a game that looked destined for a stalemate. That three points has now lifted the Dee into the top six, two points ahead of St Johnstone.

Paul said: “It was a good finish to the game but it wasn’t the best game in terms of quality. Credit to the players, they kept going and never gave up and we got a really good goal. That was the best bit of quality all day. It’s a massive thing for us to get into that top six — and the challenge now for the players is can they stay in the top six?

“We’re hoping we can but we’re really down in numbers just now so the challenge to the players is to stay in there.â€

The numbers available to Hartley took a hit once again on Saturday.

Gary Irvine and Kostadin Gadzhalov were both replaced at half-time due to injury. It’s unclear how long either will be out for but Dundee are hoping they won’t be out for too long as both have been doing well.

“Kosta tweaked his groin and Irvine got caught just before half-time at our corner. He landed on his knee so we had to change it at half-time again. We’ve had to do that in recent weeks when we’ve been getting some injuries but I thought the lads stuck to their task. We can play better, there is no doubt about that — but, in terms of the result, it was massive.â€

And Hartley reserved special praise for the man who gave him that massive result.

Paul McGowan was on hand to tap home at the back post to score his first goal since joining the club in the summer. A happy Hartley said: “It was his first goal of the season. We were expecting a little bit more in terms of goals from Gowser. However, in terms of his overall play, he’s been fantastic. He drove us on at times on Saturday.

“We’ve been trying to encourage him to get into the penalty box a little bit more and he did it for the last kick of the game. He’s all over the park, he’s such a good boy in terms of how he plays and his love for the game and we’re pleased for him.â€

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