How this Dundee team is forging closer links with its fans

James McPake believes his hungry Dundee side are forging a strong connection with their supporters.

Manager James McPake salutes the Dundee fans after defeating St Johnstone on Wednesday.
Manager James McPake salutes the Dundee fans after defeating St Johnstone on Wednesday.

The manager has been thrilled with the response his players have had from their fans after impressive back-to-back wins over Motherwell and St Johnstone.

McPake feels the current vibe at the club is as good as it has been since he captained Dundee when they last finished in the top six in 2014/15.

He said: "I've been here eight years almost and I said to Gowser (long-serving midfielder Paul McGowan), the appreciation the team got on Wednesday was the best I'd seen since the first season when we came up and got into the top six, when we were playing great football and Greg Stewart was cutting inside and putting it in the top corner. Gowser agreed.

"The appreciation they're giving the players is great and they deserve it. It was a pity the crowd weren't here last year when we got promoted through the play-offs because they would have got that (supporter appreciation) but they're earning it now with their performances.

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"I know we've had nights here like when Craig Wighton scored against Dundee United, but they're different. I'm talking about games against teams like St Johnstone and Aberdeen.

"The supporters are starting to get behind us because we're putting in a shift, working really hard and playing attacking football. We had 20 attempts on Wednesday, which is exciting.

"We've let them down at times, of course we have. The Ross County game (a 5-0 home defeat), we'll bring it up and we'll use it. It wasn't good enough, but we've got to enjoy games like Wednesday and last Saturday because they've been really good performances.

"Those performances have also been there in certain other games that we've not seen out. St Mirren first game of the season, Hibs at home, Motherwell away, we were worthy of the win."

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December is an exceptionally busy month for all cinch Premiership sides, but McPake, whose side are within two points of the top six as they travel to leaders Rangers on Saturday, is relishing it.

He said: "People were saying it's a tough schedule but ask anyone involved in football, you want to have games.

"The wee break (in November) was good because we worked on a lot and I think you're seeing that now. We also got some people up to speed, Danny Mullen in particular who has been outstanding.

"But now the games are coming quick and fast. It's great when you're coming in midweek to recover and then setting up for going to Ibrox on the Saturday.

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"That's the reason we wanted to get into the Premiership. We have started the second set of fixtures with three wins and one defeat against a very good Celtic team. We go to Ibrox on the back of two wins, so let's see what happens."