Dundee have turned up the heat in a bid to ensure their derby clash with Dundee United goes ahead today.
The Dark Blues’ televised match with Celtic was called off in midweek because of a waterlogged pitch after heavy rain battered the Tayside area.
Their festive postponement came about after a 20-metre square area in front of the dugouts had become so saturated that the ball wouldn’t bounce.
But the Dens Park outfit haven’t stopped since then as they work frantically round the clock to make sure the weather doesn’t wreck back-to-back televised matches and hope having their undersoil heating on full tilt can make all the difference ahead of the 12.30pm kick-off.
Dens general manager Jim Thomson said: “It’s been non-stop since Wednesday’s postponement. We’ve taken the unusual step of turning on the undersoil heating despite the conditions being so mild for this time of the year. Hopefully that will do the trick.
“On top of that, we will also be keeping the covers on the affected area until as close to kick-off as possible.
“We’re obviously at the mercy of the elements as there is rain forecast, but our groundsman has said he’s reasonably confident it will go ahead.”
Meanwhile, Dundee keeper Scott Bain won’t care if they send United closer to relegation – as their perilous plight is nothing to do with them.
Dundee know a win today would pile even more misery on Mixu Paatelainen’s relegation-threatened side, who are already ten points adrift of second-bottom Kilmarnock in their desperate fight to stay up.
Bain, who admits to loving the derby day experience, knows not having their city foes in the top flight next season would be an obvious loss but maintains they won’t be the ones to blame should United ultimately make the drop.
Bain said: “The derby is one of the best games of the season for us so it would be a shame for them to go down. But there is nothing we can do.
“We need to focus on ourselves and try to push for the top six.
“If there wasn’t the Dundee derby there wouldn’t be one [a traditional city derby] in the top flight at all this season.
“We have done well in the last two that I have played in, so I have really enjoyed them. It’s a different game to every other one.
“It would be a shame to lose it, but all we can do is hope we beat them.
“United might be cut adrift but it’s not our problem.”
Dundee are favourites but Bain is refusing to read too much into their opponent’s lowly league position.
He added: “I don’t think it’s a factor. You forget about that when it’s a derby. The atmosphere will be different to every other game we have played this season.
“I think United’s results don’t show how well they have played – they have done OK and just not got the results. So we can’t go into the derby thinking that just because they are bottom it is going to be an easy game.
“I think it will be more about who is better on the day – and hopefully that will be us.”