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Do Dundee Fc Need To Ring The Changes Ahead Of Ross County?


JoeCovenant

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Dundee might have the best squad they’ve assembled in years but it didn’t stop them being humbled at Celtic Park.

Manager Paul Hartley had options galore — on the pitch, on the bench and in the stands — but the players he trusted with the shirts were unable to prevent a mauling by the Premiership champions.

It wasn’t so much the defeat or the six goals, it was the manner in which it was achieved.

From minute one, the Dark Blues were outplayed, which, in fairness, can happen to anyone against the Hoops.

But the Dens men conceded some very poor goals and showed absolutely nothing as an attacking force.

So it’s understandable the natives are a wee bit restless. The call from the terraces is for the manager to make changes.

But where?

Here we take a look at where Paul might consider freshening things up against Ross County this weekend.

Formation

The gaffer decided to switch to a genuine 4-5-1 at Parkhead in an attempt to nullify Ronny Deila’s men.

He won’t have the same fear of the Staggies.

As a result, I’d expect him to either move back to his tried and tested 4-2-3-1 or in fact go for the formation of 4-3-3 from the early days of the season.

A lot depends on whether he decides to throw Rory Loy back into the fray.

Attack

And that’s probably the biggest decision he has to make — to bring Loy in or not?

While Kane Hemmings was handed the thankless task of running the frontline alone at Celtic Park, it’s unlikely he’ll have the same task again this time out.

Paul could opt to throw Loy into the frontline and go with the same attacking unit he did against the likes of Kilmarnock and Hearts in the opening weeks of the campaign.

That frontline had potency, movement and goals — the third of which Dundee never looked even close to on Sunday.

Rhys Healey, who made his debut at Parkhead, is also an option but is likely to retain his place on the bench along with Riccardo Calder, who could offer bags of pace if unleashed down the left by the manager.

Midfield

Dundee lost the midfield battle at Parkhead and paid a very heavy price.

Kevin Thomson, who is invariably Paul’s first name on the teamsheet when fit, and Gary Harkins were way off the pace on Sunday.

While Thomson is a certain starter and Nick Ross’ tireless running has become an asset this season, Harkins, along with Nicky Low, who is ill, could be at risk of dropping out.

Paul McGowan, who is expected to be passed fit, could come into contention.

Defence

It’s an area that will come under particular scrutiny after conceding six goals — and rightly so.

Two decisions are pressing in this area – one at centre-back and the other in the full-back areas.

Julen Etxabeguren is expected to be fit for the clash and could come into the XI in place of Thomas Konrad.

While central defence was an issue, the two full-backs — Gary Irvine and Paul McGinn — had days to forget.

Kevin Holt is pushing for a first-team recall, having been taken out after a tough start to the campaign. He could easily come in for McGinn or, more likely, Irvine.



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