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Dundee have come to the fore at the right time says boss James McPake after seeing his side take second place on the final day

Dundee boss James McPake at Palmerston.
Dundee boss James McPake at Palmerston.

Dundee boss James McPake says his players have “come to the fore at the right time” after booking their place in the play-off semi-final.

Despite trailing Raith Rovers by four points with two matches remaining, victory over Rovers and then Queen of the South last night saw the Dark Blues take the coveted second place.

Two first-half goals from Jason Cummings did the job in Dumfries while Hearts thumped Raith 4-0 at Stark’s Park to see Dundee miss out the quarter-final stage.

After the 2-0 win at Palmerston, McPake said: “I’m happy but there is still loads of football to play. The aim when Hearts confirmed the title was to finish second.

“To do that we had tough, pressure games and all credit must go to the players. They stood up, were strong and to a man were outstanding.

Jason Cummings opens the scoring against Queen of the South.

“It was a really professional performance and we should have scored more.

“We are hungry for goals and determined to be relentless and really hurt teams. We could have done that in the first half and been out of sight.

“I’m delighted to get the result.”

‘We won’t take foot off the gas’

Missing at Palmerston were Jordan Marshall and Liam Fontaine with hamstring injuries.

McPake is pleased to have a chance to get them back fit with 12 days before Dundee next take to the field.

“Second place gives us a chance to clear a few niggles up. Liam Fontaine and Jordan Marshall could have been risked at Queens,” he said.

“We won’t be taking the foot off the gas, though.

“The level of performance and consistency has been hugely important. We have a never-say-die attitude and we’ve shown character. There’s something in that group that’s come to the fore at the right time.

Raith Rovers lost 4-0 to Hearts and Iain Davidson also saw red.

“We have a massive tie coming up. We’ll let Raith and Dunfermline kick lumps out of each other in a Fife derby while we prepare.

“We won’t sit back and wait, we’ll be fitter and healthier by the time the next tie comes.

“We now know we have four games to get this fantastic club back in the Premiership.

“It is a big job and we need to be at our best but we are looking forward to it.”

 

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