Paul Hartley says too many draws cost Dundee spot among elite

Dundee manager Paul Hartley shows his frustration. Picture: SNS
Dundee manager Paul Hartley shows his frustration. Picture: SNS
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MANAGER Paul Hartley says too many draws killed Dundee’s top-six aspirations and criticised his side after Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Hamilton Accies that inflicted the final blow.

Hamilton - 2

Crawford 30, Garcia Tena 41 pen

Dundee - 1

Harkins 63

Hartley’s team have clocked up 14 draws this season, more than any other Premiership side. Even a few weeks ago Dundee looked good for a place among the elite, but they dropped out of the top six after taking one win from the last eight games.

Hartley, pictured right, said: “The dressing room was quiet because we set our sights high this season. We wanted to be in the top six and we thought we could get there, but it’s not just this game – we’ve had too many draws this season.

“We’ve had 14 draws, and we’ve been in good positions where we should have won games, so it’s a major blow. We let ourselves down.

“We have to keep going. We still want to finish as high as we can, we set targets and our target now is to try and finish seventh.”

Hartley admitted his side struggled to cope with Hamilton’s physical style of play, but insists Dundee should not have been surprised by the tactics of his home-town team.

He said: “We know Hamilton’s style of play, and we have enough physicality on the park in our back players, but we just didn’t cope with it very well, or the conditions of the pitch.”

Hamilton boss Martin Canning was delighted with his first home win since 19 September and he praised the contribution of youngsters Eamonn Brophy, Greg Docherty and Steven Boyd.

With the Hamilton under-17s and under-20s going strongly in their leagues, Canning feels the club are in a good position and victory was a huge boost to their survival hopes.

He said: “Eamonn and Greg have been on the cusp of the first team for the last year and a bit. Their attitude is excellent, and we have Boydy, who came on, did well, and has been a star for the under-20s this season.”