James McPake says Dundee won’t be treating bottom-side Arbroath lightly tomorrow night as they aim for a fifth-straight win.
The Red Lichties have struggled to reproduce their impressive first season in the Championship this time around and find themselves propping up the league table.
Dick Campbell’s side have picked up just one win this term from 11 league matches, a 2-1 victory over Ayr United in December.
However, they will be buoyed by coming from two goals behind at Queen of the South last week to draw 2-2.
And McPake is wary of their “hurting” hosts, insisting his side will have to “battle” their way to three points.
He said: “Arbroath’s position makes them dangerous.
“They are hurting with where they are in the league because in their head they’ll believe that’s not where they should be.
“Before the league was shutdown last season they were there or thereabouts for the playoffs.
“They’ll believe they are in a false position and when you play against a team like that it is always dangerous.
“We need to go there with our confidence and belief in the run we are on that we can go there, get the three points and come back down the road.
“Consistency in this league is so important. We’ve found consistency in the last seven or eight weeks we are pretty happy with.
“There have been bumps but that just shows at no point can you switch off in this league.
“Going up to Arbroath is a tough venue and you just have to look at when they played Hearts. They had chances to win that game, never mind draw. It is a tough, tough place to go.
“But it is all about us and what we do.”
He added: “We’re big on attitude and application and that’s something we’ve stressed since we came in.
“I know there are games where it might not look like that but I’ll never accuse my players of not having the right attitude or workrate.
“This is one of these games where you need to roll the sleeves up and battle because Arbroath are a good side.”
McPake is anticipating a tough task in taking on Campbell in the dugouts at Gayfield tomorrow night and says the experienced manager deserves massive credit for the job he’s done there.
The Dens boss has never lost to his Arbroath counterpart, winning twice and drawing in his only trip to Gayfield since taking on the Dundee job.
However, he’s keen to point out the help Campbell has given him as a young manager.
“Dick deserves massive credit for the job he’s done at Arbroath,” McPake said.
“I know Dave Mackay played for him and says he was great.
“Every time you speak to him he always offers advice.
“I have huge respect for him and the job he has done at Arbroath is fantastic.
“He has great staff behind him in his brother Ian and Rab Douglas and I have no doubt they’ll get out of the position they are in.
“Any time you bump into him or play against him, he’ll speak to you and give his opinion on certain things in the game and how you can improve.
“He has bags of experience and I’ll always listen to people like that.
“The fact he takes the time to help people like myself and Dave is great.”
‘TV games always a bit special’
Fans of both sides will be able to watch the action unfold on BBC Scotland on Friday night.
McPake says playing in front of the cameras adds to the contest and he’s hoping Dees enjoy a good performance from their side.
“TV games are always a bit special,” he added.
“A night-time game live on the TV. The players know their family and friends are watching.
“It also showcases our league and there have been some good games on Friday nights.
“It’s good for the league that fans can watch it and we’re looking forward to it.”