Paul Hartley vows Dundee won’t hold back at Pittodrie

James McPake: Shaking off dead leg. Picture: SNS
James McPake: Shaking off dead leg. Picture: SNS
Have your say

Dundee manager Paul Hartley insists his side have no intention of abandoning their attacking approach when they take on in-form Aberdeen today.

The Dark Blues head for Pittodrie fresh from a 2-1 win over St Johnstone which placed them fourth in the Ladbrokes Premier League, one place and two points behind Aberdeen.

Hartley has every admiration for Derek McInnes’s men, who finished runners-up last season and have won all three league games in this campaign, but is not planning to alter their normal style just because they face the Dons.

Hartley said: “We’re under no illusions. We all know Aberdeen are a quality side, but it’s one we’re really looking forward to. We always like to express ourselves and that’s what we’ll try to do again at Pittodrie.

“They have got players in the final third who can cause you problems. That’s what we have to watch out for but, at the same time, I think with the players we’ve got we’ll always have a go.

“It’s away from home which will make it different but we are hopeful of putting on a good show and getting a positive result.”

Dundee will be without Nicky Low – the former Aberdeen midfielder – after he sustained a groin injury against St Johnstone, while Rory Loy is also struggling with a groin problem. However, defender James McPake is hopeful of overcoming a dead leg in time to take his place in the back four.

Hartley admits it is a setback to lose Low but is refusing to use the injuries as an excuse going into their Pittodrie meeting. He said: “Nicky will be out for a week to ten days. It’s a blow.

“His groin is a bit sore. He’s not played a lot of football in recent times so he just felt his groin going.

“But that just football for you. You get these injuries throughout the season and you have to deal with them.”

The two goalkeepers on show this afternoon are in impressive form. Danny Ward has kept four clean sheets since clinching a summer loan move to Aberdeen from Liverpool, where manager Brendan Rodgers recently handed the 22-year-old a five-year contract.

Ward is hoping his displays are catching the eye of Wales manager Chris Coleman while, in the short term, he is looking forward to coming up against in-form Scott Bain this weekend.

“I’ve not seen too much of him but I did see the save he made in the Dundee United game, which was world class,” said Ward. “You take your hat off to anyone who can pull off a save like that.

“I’ve heard good things from various people around Scotland about him so it will be good to come up against him and to get to know him a bit.”