Dundee manager Paul Hartley plans to take a leaf out of Inverness Caley Thistle’s book by going for the jugular against Celtic at Dens Park tonight.
Hartley’s side welcome the champions to Tayside having watched John Hughes’ rampant side stun Celtic with Sunday’s Scottish Cup semi-final extra-time win at Hampden. Now Dundee will attempt to inflict a double dose of misery on the Parkhead club.
“They will be hurting because they knew the treble was on,” Hartley said. “You have to give Inverness credit because they moved the ball well and with great tempo. I was at the game and they were really positive from the off.
“We will be the same. We will go with an attacking line-up. It is a free sort of game for us because it is an extra game and we want to be positive and will try to get a good result. We want to try to be as positive as we can be and we want as many points as we can for the club.”
Hartley is thrilled to have seen his men clinch a top-half finish in the table but doesn’t want them to rest on their laurels ahead of the visit of the league leaders.
He said: “I don’t want the players to switch off and say we are just happy to be in the top-six. We are not. We have to try and keep the players motivated to finish as high as we can. Top-six is terrific but we still want to win games.”
We will go with an attacking line-up.Paul Hartley
Hartley knows what a win over Celtic would do for morale but is well aware they’ll have to be at their best on the night.
He said: “It would be massive and give the players a real boost because we wouldn’t be far behind the teams above us and the chase would be on.
“I think Celtic are a talented group. They have good players and look at their bench on Saturday it was strong against Inverness and that was without Stuart Armstrong and Gary Mackay-Steven.
“They play good football and in a certain way, with high energy and a good tempo and we expect to give them as good game.”
Part of Dens Park will be closed tonight in response to the minor pitch invasions that took place during the derby win over Dundee United earlier this month.
Fans encroached on to the playing area several times during the 3-1 win over United, Dundee’s first success in the derby for over a decade.
Fifteen rows in the eastern- most section of the South Enclosure will be closed this evening, meaning only season ticket holders will be allowed in that part of the ground.
The decision comes after pressure from the local council.
In a statement posted on their website, Dundee urged supporters with tickets for the part of the ground that will be closed to find seats elsewhere.
The statement added: “This solution comes at a considerable financial cost to the club and a more permanent solution will be installed in the summer.”