Dundee’s Paul Hartley wants ‘repeat performance’

Dundee manager Paul Hartley looks ahead to his side's weekend game against St Johnstone. Picture: Kenny Smith

Dundee manager Paul Hartley looks ahead to his side's weekend game against St Johnstone. Picture: Kenny Smith

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Dundee manager Paul Hartley has challenged his side to copy their recent display against Celtic in tomorrow’s Scottish Premiership league match away to St Johnstone.

The Dark Blues were unfortunate not to beat Ronny Deila’s Parkhead side in what turned out to be an entertaining 1-1 draw at Dens Park in their last match before the international break.

It still ensured though the Tayside club are undefeated in five league matches since returning to the top flight at the start of the season and Hartley believes another such performance should stand them in good stead when they head for Perth to take on Tommy Wright’s men.

Hartley said: “It’s about trying to build on what we’ve been working hard on in recent weeks.

“If we can take that performance from the recent Celtic game into Saturday, then hopefully we can give St Johnstone a tough game.

“There were lots of pleasing aspects from the way we played against Celtic, which gives us encouragement.

“St Johnstone are always tough opponents and you never get an easy game at McDiarmid Park.

“But we’ll be ready for it and can go there with our confidence reasonably high.”

Hartley has a healthy respect for Wright’s Saints side, who have had to cope with the recent loss of star striker Stevie May, but maintains his own side will be going there to try and dictate proceedings on the day.

He said: “We’re going there to be positive as we do in every game.

“We want to go there and try to impose ourselves on the game as we feel we have the players to do that.

“We’ve got good qualities about us and even when we’re not playing at our best we can still see a game out.

“The boys have a little bit of time off over the international break but we’ve been back to the hard work this week.

“We’ve had a good week’s training and are really looking forward to getting back into the action.

“This is always a big game with lots of interest as it’s a bit of a derby.

“We hope that will bring out the best in our players and we want them to respond well on the day.”

Meanwhile, Dundee will be without injured trio Peter MacDonald, Willie Dyer and Kevin Thomson for the McDiarmid Park clash but new signing David Clarkson is added to the squad.

MacDonald has a leg knock which he sustained against Celtic and Dyer is still out with a knee injury.

Skipper Thomson is recovering from a calf strain which has sidelined him in recent weeks.

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