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Dundee ace Declan McDaid insists there is far more to come from the Dark Blues this season and says: ‘Morton win was just the start’

Dundee take on Morton at Cappielow today.
Dundee take on Morton at Cappielow today.

Dundee showed they can “dig in” against Morton and winger Declan McDaid insists there is far more to come from the Dark Blues this campaign.

The former Ayr and Partick man made his first start of the season against Ton and played a part in the only goal of the game, just five minutes in.

As the clash wore on, the visitors pushed for an equaliser but were held at bay by the Dark Blues with Jonathan Afolabi’s strike enough to take all three points.

Up next is another tough home match against an in-form side. Raith Rovers have started their return to the second tier on fire with a 3-0 home win over Arbroath and a 5-2 thumping of Queen of the South on the road.

“Raith won again at the weekend and they’ll be another good team, another hard game,” McDaid said.

“We need another three points, though, so we can keep building.

“I won’t butter it up, Saturday wasn’t a pretty game. We were better first half than in the second, especially when they went to 10 it wasn’t pretty.

“They are the games you need to grind out, though, and it was good to get the win.

“Morton played a lot of long balls and it’s hard to defend that repeatedly but we dealt with it well the whole game. We were resilient, got the clean sheet and the win.

“We didn’t get a good start in the first game against Hearts so we knew we had to bounce back this week to kick on.

“That’s exactly what we’ve done.

“It might not have been a pretty game but we dug in, got the three points and that’s all that matters.”

Declan McDaid celebrates with goalscorer Jonathan Afolabi (right) and Dundee team-mates against Morton.

McDaid may have been thankful to sit out the 6-2 defeat at Hearts on the opening day but was delighted to return to the team on the right side of James McPake’s 4-4-2 set-up.

And he showed the sort of positive attacking play that endeared him to the Dundee support last season.

“Hearts wasn’t a great game for us but I’m just grateful to be back in the team and to help the team to a win,” he added.

“We needed that after the previous game.

“We knew if we scored early we could dominate the ball. We did that first half but obviously second half they went long and it was harder. It was good to get the early goal, that settled us in a bit and we played well.

“We were different shape this week, I don’t know if that made a difference, but we played some good stuff at times.

“We created a few chances and could’ve scored more. Second half it got scrappy but we showed the other side of our game, that we can dig in and get the points.”

The 24-year-old was playing his first competitive match behind closed doors at Dens Park and admits he almost found himself falling into old habits, despite the empty stands.

“It’s weird (playing in front of no fans),” he added.

“Personally, when I’m in the game, I’m focused anyway and I don’t really get affected by the fans but it is weird.

“Usually you’re clapping the fans off at the end but there’s no one there. I almost did it anyway out of habit!

“Hopefully, though, they were watching from home and we can get them back soon.”

There is a lot of pressure at Dundee but I like that because you know you need to be on it every week.

And McDaid has assured the Dark Blues support, whether watching online or physically back in the stands at some point, that there is plenty more to come from their side this term as they chase a return to the top flight.

“There is definitely better to come. That is just the start.

“We were a bit down after the Hearts game but we knew we had to dust ourselves down to get a win on Saturday and then kick on.

“That’s what we’ve done.

“There is a lot of pressure at Dundee but I like that because you know you need to be on it every week.

“Teams will want to beat us and Hearts, that’s the pinnacle for some teams, so we know every game will be hard.

“We also know we’ve got enough quality to win them.”

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