Dundee manager Neil McCann has challenged his team to again hit form when it really matters after they secured their first home win in nine attempts.
Sofien Moussa’s 88th-minute header earned Dundee a 2-1 victory over St Johnstone in a Tayside derby that came just six weeks after the Perth side had won 4-0 on their previous visit to Dens Park.
Dundee had ended a run of five consecutive home losses when they came from behind to draw with Hearts and McCann was delighted with the way his side responded to Steven MacLean’s 85th-minute equaliser after Moussa had opened the scoring.
Dundee won their first two post-split games last year after McCann took over in a bid to save them from the drop and their derby triumph moved them six points off the bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership.
McCann, pictured below, said: “Playing at Dens, it hasn’t been great for us in results, everybody knows that, fans know that. But it’s been a real good week for us. We lost a couple of big players during the week in Roarie [Deacon] and Josh [Meekings] but the boys that came in were fantastic.
“It’s always nice to get a home win, especially starting off, because what’s gone before really doesn’t matter going into these last five games. It’s where pressure maybe kicks in a wee bit.
“This is the second time I have been in this position going into the last five games where we needed a win to give us something to really drive with and they have come up trumps again. I am so happy and so proud of them.
“As I said to them before the game: five games, 15 points available, and we start off with a win against St Johnstone at home, and take care of business in the next game. We have done that now, we have ticked that box and it feels good.
“Questions might have been asked of us when we lost a goal. It happened against Hearts when we lost an early goal. The boys just seemed to say: ‘No, we are not accepting it’. And I am so happy for them because they worked hard for that.”
Moussa’s winner and his first-minute opener both came from free-kicks into the box and Saints boss Tommy Wright bemoaned the way his side conceded.
“The second one would keep you awake at night – a punt from just inside their half and nobody was marking Moussa,” he said. “Three centre-halves should deal with it.
“I thought easily we were the better side, under no pressure at all from them except for two punts in the box, all right, a free-kick from Holt, and that was it.
“It probably typifies some of the goals we have conceded this season. We can’t win games if you defend like that.”