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Josh Meekings backs Dundee new boys to hit ground running

Josh Meekings backs Dundee new boys to hit ground running

Most of Dundee’s new men come from far afield but Josh Meekings is sure they’re settling into life at Dens already.

That’s because they’ve been warmly welcomed by the rest of the squad, just as he was a year ago when he was the fresh face.

“The new boys have looked great. They’ve settled into the group really well,” said the English defender.

“I think we have a really welcoming group here and, even last season for me coming in, it was great.

“It was the first time in a long time I’d moved. I left Ipswich at 18 and went to Inverness for six years so I was very settled. It meant last year was a bit different for me but it’s a great bunch of lads and they made it easy for me to settle.

“Every one of the new boys will feel welcome and the more we get to know them and they get to know us, the better it’ll be.”

More important, from what he’s seen already, Nathan Ralph, Kharl Madianga, Elton Ngwatala, Jean Alassane Mendy and Jack Hamilton, the only Scot to arrive, will fit perfectly into Dundee’s style of play.

And he believes the passing-from-the-back policy gaffer Neil McCann insists on is one the Dark Blues can use to finish high up the Premiership.

“You look at it and we’ve really got a good squad here,” he added.

“The manager has done well recruitment-wise and brought in boys who are fitting in and gelling.

“It’s a great group to be involved in already and I think we can only go up the way. The season is definitely something to look forward to.

“The manager has his way of wanting to play and I love it. It gives you licence to get on the ball and play with freedom and you know, if you do make the odd mistake, he will still back you to do it again.

“Saying that, I think playing out from the back last season we didn’t actually concede too many goals.

“Maybe there’s one I can recall at Rangers away which, obviously, wasn’t great. Other than that, I don’t remember us getting caught on the ball playing out from the back.

“If we can take that and go forward and help ourselves at the back more, it’s a good chance for us.

“There is always an element of risk to playing out from the back and we know that. However, it is what you can get from it when you do break through the lines.

“I’ve always enjoyed doing that. I played under John Hughes at Inverness and he was exactly the same. It just gives you that freedom to go and express yourself.”

With new arrivals who are comfortable on the ball augmenting the talent of those already at Dens, Meekings sees no other way to play.

“You look at Glen Kamara and Paul McGowan. Last year they were two of our best players and that was because they were constantly getting on the ball and creating things.

“You just want to give them the ball and give them the licence to go forward.”

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This article originally appeared on the Evening Telegraph website. For more information, read about our new combined website.