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Paul Hartley Determined to Attack Against Celtic

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Dundee boss Paul Hartley has revealed his attacking intent ahead of tonight’s clash with league leaders Celtic.

The Dens manager was in attendance at Hampden on Sunday to see the Hoops crash out of the William Hill Scottish Cup with Inverness going through to the final at their expense.

The game was a controversial one with Celtic infuriated that they were not awarded a spot-kick when ICT’s Josh Meekings handled the ball in his own penalty area, with Ronny Deila’s side also reduced to 10 men when keeper Craig Gordon was sent off.

The defeat was even harder to take for the Parkhead men as it also extinguished their hopes of securing a rare domestic treble.

However, Hartley admitted he was impressed by the positive manner adopted from the beginning of the game by John Hughes’ Highland outfit and he is looking for a similar display from his own players this evening.

He said: “Celtic will be hurting because they knew the treble was on. You have to give Inverness credit because they moved the ball well and with great tempo.

“The main turning points were the handball and then the penalty when Craig Gordon got sent off.

“We’ve all had decisions given against us and that is the way the season goes sometimes.

“I was at the game and Inverness were really positive from the off. We will be the same, we will go with an attacking line-up.

“It is a free sort of game for us and we want to be positive and will try to get a good result. We want to try to be as positive as we can be and we want as many points as we can for the club.

“I don’t want the players to switch off and say we are just happy to be in the top six. We are not, we have to try to keep the players motivated to finish as high as we can. Top six is terrific but we still want to win games.”

Despite Celtic’s defeat at the weekend, Hartley admitted he has been impressed by Deila’s side this season.

He believes they have a really strong squad as shown by the fact they had players such as John Guidetti on their bench and cup-tied former Dundee United stars Gary Mackay-Steven and Stuart Armstrong sitting in the stand.

Hartley added: “I think they are a talented group.

“They have good players and look at their bench on Sunday. It was strong against Inverness and that was without Stuart Armstrong and Gary Mackay-Steven.

“They play good football and in a certain way, with high energy and a good tempo but we expect to give them a good game.”

Source: The Courier

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