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Dundee’s McGhee looking forward to reunion with former gaffer Hartley

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Much of the focus at Cove tonight will be on the reunion of Dundee boss James McPake and Paul Hartley, the man the Dundee boss credits with giving him a big push into management.

However, in Jordan McGhee, Hartley will be meeting up with another of his former charges.

The Dark Blues’ summer signing played under him at Falkirk and, although their time together was relatively brief, McGhee knows enough about his former gaffer to expect a tough 90 minutes in this Betfred Cup clash.

Jordan McGhee in action against Nottingham Forest.

“I know Paul from having him at Falkirk for a while. I got on really well with him. He’s a good guy and I am looking forward to meeting up with him again,” said the Dens new boy.

“He was the manager here as well, so that adds a bit extra spice and he’s a big name for Cove to get, having played with Celtic in the Champions League, Hearts when he won the cup and Scotland as well.

“It should give everyone around their club a boost. He’s will bring a professional attitude to them and take things from full-time football and introduce them there.”

Paul Hartley.

McGhee also has experience of facing tonight’s opposition and, from that, knows the SPFL’s latest arrivals are not to be taken lightly.

“It will be a good game and a tough game. I played against them two years ago in the Scottish Cup with Falkirk, in the last 16 I think it was.

“They made it difficult for us up there, albeit it was a different pitch and a different stadium.

“They were a decent team then and they have got stronger, so it’s not going to be easy. We have to make sure our attitude is right.”

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Dundee head up the A90 in confident mood after an impressive win at Raith Rovers in their opening tie last weekend.

For McGhee, tonight is all about building on the good work put in during that 3-0 success at Stark’s Park.

“It was a great start, good to get off with a win, get a clean sheet and a good performance.

“I think Raith are a good side and they pass the ball well. They showed good composure and I think they will do well this season in League One, so it was a very good result for us.”

If Dundee can repeat that result against Cove, McGhee believes they will be perfectly placed to go on and progress to the knockout stages of the competition.

While the bid for promotion from the Championship has to be the No 1 priority for this season, McGhee stresses good runs in the cups are also high on the agenda.

“I’ve always said in these groups the big thing is to win your first game and then take it from there.

“We’ve done that and, if we get three points from this one, we’ll have set ourselves up for a good tie here against Peterhead on Saturday.

“It’s a big competition in Scotland, so if you can get through these early stages, then you never know who you’re going to get drawn against.

“You could get the luck of the draw and end up going all the way, so this is something we are all up for.”

Dundee make the trip to Balmoral Stadium tonight.

After his switch from the Bairns last month, McGhee admits he’s enjoying his time at Dens and believes it’s one that can bring him success.

“I think since we came in the gaffer has put his plans across to us and everyone has taken to it.

“We bonded well over in Spain and everyone has jumped on what’s happening here and it’s a really exciting time to be here.

“The manager has always said he wants us to pass the ball. That suits a lot of us to a tee.

“I was brought up through the youth team at Hearts where we were encouraged to do that, so it’s the way I like to play.”

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