Dundee boss James McPake has hailed the influence of new signing Liam Fontaine in helping sort out the Dark Blues’ defensive problems.
The Dens boss also singled out goalkeeper Jack Hamilton for praise after an impressing following the arrival of Adam Legzdins last month.
McPake moved to bolster his defensive options with the captures of free agents Fontaine and Legzdins after the departure of Graham Dorrans freed up some of his budget.
Legzdins has only managed one appearance so far with a calf injury troubling him lately but the Dundee gaffer is delighted to see Hamilton step up when needed in recent weeks.
Former Birmingham City keeper Legzdins isn’t expected to shrug off that calf complaint meaning Hamilton will keep his place in goal this afternoon against Dunfermline.
McPake said: “Jack was great last weekend but he keeps saying it’s his job and doesn’t want praise.
“That’s why he’s been in the Scotland squad and he’s found form at a time we needed him to.
“Any time competition comes in helps so maybe Adam Legzdins coming in has pushed Jack Hamilton on but I think as a team we are defending better.
“I was pleased with my team at Inverness and we deserved the three points so if we take that performance into this weekend we’ll have a positive outcome.”
McPake says his entire defence has stepped up a level since a team meeting that followed the dreadful 2-0 defeat at Ayr United almost a month ago.
Fontaine made his debut off the bench that day with Dundee already two goals down after signing just days before and has impressed his new manager already.
“As a team we are defending better,” added McPake.
“Liam Fontaine has been a good addition – he’s come in and done really well.
“We’ve been really pleased with him.
“He’s a really experienced player who played a lot of games in the English Championship for a good Bristol City team.
“Up here he’s won the Championship twice and a Scottish Cup. He’s been around the block and knows how to defend and move people about.”
Ahead of today’s big clash with Dunfermline, McPake expects to have Paul McGowan and Danny Mullen available after both limped out of the 2-2 draw at Inverness.
Striker Alex Jakubiak, meanwhile, is more of a doubt after picking up a thigh injury in the Highlands.