Barry Smith urges Dundee to spark into life when Inverness visit Tayside
DUNDEE manager Barry Smith hopes his side’s lay-off can be the catalyst for them picking up their first home victory in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League when Inverness visit Dens Park tonight.
Dundee have had almost two weeks, because of the international break, to smart over their 3-0 defeat by Hibernian, which left them rooted to the bottom of the table.
The SPL new boys are now preparing to host Terry Butcher’s resurgent Inverness side in this Friday night fixture with Smith banking on his players’ eagerness to get back into action in the hope it can finally see them chalk up three points in front of their own fans.
He said: “Normally when you have had a free week for whatever reason it means you are just desperate to go out there and do yourself justice.
“I can sense a determination among the players to do well in what will be a very difficult game. It’s all about getting up for this fixture and treating it like any other which we face.
“I would hope there’s still a feeling of frustration from the way we lost at Hibs because again individual errors cost us, which is something we want to put right.”
Smith is in favour of Friday night football, but knows ultimately it will come down to how his side perform on the night which will determine if they are to get the three points against Caley Thistle.
Smith said: “I think it’s a good idea. It’s something different from the norm. Hopefully the crowd turns out for the occasion and we can get them the result they’re looking for.
“Only time will tell if it’s a long-term solution, but at least it seems to have captured some people’s imagination. Having said that, it doesn’t really matter what night we’re playing on. It’s a game of football and it’s up to the players to go out there with the right attitude and show they deserve to be winners.
“Inverness have been on the up recently so all credit to them and we know it will be nothing other than a very difficult game which we have to be ready for from the first minute.”
Inverness midfielder Ross Draper is focused on pushing further up the SPL table, after Caley Thistle moved up to eighth place with consecutive victories over Dundee United and Ross County. If they win tonight they could jump another five places.
Terry Butcher’s side are on a five-match unbeaten run and are eager to maintain their form as they close their first round of fixtures against the bottom club and St Johnstone.
Draper, who scored his third goal for the club in their 3-1 Highland derby win, said: “We have got a couple of games coming up where we think it’s important for us to kick on. The gaffer said earlier in the season that it’s hard to get a run going because, especially last year, you come across Celtic and Rangers and Motherwell and teams like that. So we have to try to pick up points and win games that we know we can win, and maybe pick up points against the big teams.
“The next couple of games we have to pick up as many points as possible and try to climb the league. Two weeks ago we were looking at the bottom two. A couple of wins and you are sitting mid-table. It’s a good feeling but we don’t want to be happy with mid-table, we want to kick on and get as high as we possibly can.”
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Monday 20 May 2013
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