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Dundee need cup-final mentality for relegation Dee-day clash with St Johnstone says boss Mark McGhee

Dundee winger Paul McMullan takes on Callum Booth of St Johnstone.
Dundee winger Paul McMullan takes on Callum Booth of St Johnstone.

Dundee boss Mark McGhee has urged his players to treat Saturday’s St Johnstone clash like a cup final.

With the club’s Premiership status on the line, victory is everything. Anything less would leave the Dark Blues teetering on the brink of relegation.

Taking a cup final mentality to preparations ahead of the contest is a must for the Dens Park squad insists McGhee.

“It is not just about Saturday but also their preparations,” the experienced manager said.

“There is no point in playing it down and saying it is only another three points because it is more than that.

Dundee manager Mark McGhee.
Dundee manager Mark McGhee.

Cup final

“It is a cup final and we are prepared to take that on as a cup final.

“We hopefully have five cup finals coming.

“I have been talking to them since Monday about the players that have played in these big games and one-off games, like semi-finals and finals.

“Nobody has to tell you about what to do because you wake up and you know what you need to do.

“You are playing in a promotion game or relegation match like this and nobody should need to remind you.

“I have been preaching to them to do things a little bit differently to treat it like you were playing at Hampden in a cup final.

“You would be doing things differently, more and things slightly better.

“I am just asking them to think about the game in this way.”

‘Don’t be embarrassed to try hard’

Since that talk with the players on Monday, McGhee says he has sensed a different attitude about the squad in training.

Though he will rely on his experienced players, the former Scotland assistant insists the youthful members of the team will be just as important this weekend.

“We will be demanding and looking for consistency,” McGhee added.

“Even in the small things like the little passing drills, we want to do things with a bit more intensity.

Dundee teen Josh Mulligan
Dundee teen Josh Mulligan.

“Even one or two of the young lads because one of the things they do when they are with the more experienced players is they can be a wee bit embarrassed to try hard.

“I said that to Josh Mulligan the other day.

“One of the things I said to the young boys is don’t be embarrassed about working hard because the older players will respect you for it.

“They won’t ridicule you and we were trying to get that intensity into them.

“If we approach the whole week like that then we should go into the game in the right frame of mind.”

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